Till death do us part: Intersecting health and spousal dementia caregiving on caregiver mortality.

TitleTill death do us part: Intersecting health and spousal dementia caregiving on caregiver mortality.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationForthcoming
AuthorsLeggett, AN, Sonnega, A, Lohman, MC
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
ISSN Number1552-6887
KeywordsCaregiving, Cognitive Ability, End of life decisions, Marriage
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We consider whether it is the healthiest dementia caregivers who experience a mortality benefit and whether a protective association is consistent for leading causes of mortality.

METHOD: Using the Health and Retirement study (2000-2012), Cox survival models predict time to death for dementia caregivers, including an interaction between dementia caregiver status and self-rated health. The nationally representative sample consisted of 10,650 married adults aged 51 or older (917 dementia caregivers).

RESULTS: A significant interaction between dementia caregiver status and self-rated health suggested that relative to noncaregivers, dementia caregivers had reduced mortality, with this effect particularly strong at lower levels of self-rated health. The protective effect of dementia caregiver status was consistent across death by heart disease, cancer, and cerebrovascular disease.

DISCUSSION: These findings add to a growing body of literature suggesting that caregiving may provide a mortality benefit and a reason to maintain health.

DOI10.1177/0898264319860975
User Guide Notes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31272269?dopt=Abstract

Alternate JournalJ Aging Health
Citation Key10137
PubMed ID31272269