Document Detail

Mortality after death of spouse in relation to duration of bereavement in Finland.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8935456     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
STUDY OBJECTIVES: (1) To assess the extent to which death of a spouse causes excess mortality by controlling for the effects of confounding and other sources of bias. Three possible sources of bias are considered: accidents common to spouses, common socioeconomic environment, and common lifestyles. (2) To assess the duration specific effects of death of a spouse on mortality. DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective study of mortality in Finland among all 35-84 year old married Finnish men and women (1,580,000 people). Baseline sociodemographic measurement from the 1985 census records. Follow up by computerised record linkage to death certificate registers for the period 1986-91 (about 116,000 deaths, of which almost 10,000 among the bereaved) using personal identification codes. RESULTS: (1) After controlling for confounding effects, excess mortality was 17% in men and 6% in women. (2) Excess mortality was higher for short durations than long durations of bereavement. (3) Excess mortality after bereavement was higher in men than women. CONCLUSIONS: Controlling for confounding does not seem to have a crucial modifying effect on the relationship between spousal bereavement and mortality. It seems that death of a spouse has a causal effect on mortality. However, although spousal bereavement is a major stressful life event, this causal effect seems to be relatively small and short lived.
P Martikainen; T Valkonen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of epidemiology and community health     Volume:  50     ISSN:  0143-005X     ISO Abbreviation:  J Epidemiol Community Health     Publication Date:  1996 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-06-26     Completed Date:  1997-06-26     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7909766     Medline TA:  J Epidemiol Community Health     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  264-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Sociology, University of Helsinki, Finland.
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MeSH Terms
Accidents / mortality
Aged, 80 and over
Life Style
Middle Aged
Prospective Studies
Sex Factors
Socioeconomic Factors

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