Revisiting the Role of Gender and Marital Status as Risk Factors for Nursing Home Entry.

TitleRevisiting the Role of Gender and Marital Status as Risk Factors for Nursing Home Entry.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsCasanova, M
JournalThe Journal of Gerontology: Series B
ISSN Number1758-5368
Keywordsgender, Living arrangements, Long-term Care, Nursing home entry

OBJECTIVE: To study the role of gender and marital status as risk factors for nursing home entry in the United States.

METHOD: The paper uses data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative survey of the older population in the United States. Multivariate logit models of the risk of nursing home entry over a 2-year follow-up period were estimated for noninstitutionalized individuals over the age of 65. A multiple imputation procedure was used to explore the sensitivity of the results to alternative assumptions about the data-generating process of missing outcome values.

RESULTS: In an analysis based on complete observations, women exhibited the same risk of nursing home entry as men (risk ratio [RR] = 1.01; CI: 0.90, 1.13). However, after expanding the sample to include information on nursing home use for individuals who died during the follow-up period, women were found to have a statistically lower risk of nursing home entry (RR = 0.85; CI: 0.79, 0.92). The latter result was robust to alternative assumptions about the nature of missing data. The type of sample used in the analysis did not affect the conclusions regarding the role of marital status. Divorced and widowed individuals were found to be at higher risk of nursing home admissions than married individuals in all specifications.

DISCUSSION: The findings clarify the role of gender as a predictor of nursing home admissions and may provide useful prognostic information for clinicians and caregivers regarding nursing home entry risk. The study also sheds light on how conclusions about predictors of nursing home risk obtained from prospective studies with long follow-up periods can be affected by the treatment of missing outcomes due to death or attritions.

Citation Key11676
PubMed ID34101810