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Mortality after the death of a parent in adulthood: a register-based comparison of two ethno-linguistic groups
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6973-0381
Number of Authors: 22019 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 29, no 3, p. 582-587Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Most research on parental bereavement and health have analysed health consequences of parental loss in childhood, while collateral health in adulthood has been less studied. Methods: Using register-based population data from Finland, we analyse adult offspring aged 18-50 years with discrete-time hazard models that adjust for offspring and parental socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. In focus are adult children whose parents were alive and lived together at the beginning of the observation period. We compare two culturally distinct but otherwise similar ethno-linguistic groups, Finnish speakers and Swedish speakers. Results: The results suggest that bereaved men have an approximately 30% higher death risk than non-bereaved men, while there is practically no difference in women. Associations between parental and child deaths are, as expected, stronger for concordant causes of death than for discordant causes of death. However, some associations for discordant causes of death remain, which may indicate causality. Among Swedish speakers, who have notably higher family stability than Finnish speakers, the death of one or both parents shows a stronger association with own mortality. Conclusions: The estimated associations found are generally larger than in the neighbouring country Sweden, which may be due to a stronger obedience to traditional family values and patriarchal family roles in Finland. These findings suggest that the association between parental death and mortality in adult offspring may depend on the societal context as well as on cultural practices. These factors should be increasingly acknowledged in future studies on collateral health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 29, no 3, p. 582-587
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-174982DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/cky189ISI: 000486962600037PubMedID: 30204863OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-174982DiVA, id: diva2:1362638
Available from: 2019-10-21 Created: 2019-10-21 Last updated: 2019-12-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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  • nn-NB
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