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Sibling death in childhood predicts mortality in young adults – a Swedish national cohort study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS). Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
2015 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 25, no Suppl. 3, 53-53 p.Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Previous studies have found that the loss of a family member increases mortality among bereaved family members. Although, some previous evidence have found associations between loss of a sibling in adulthood and subsequent mortality few studies have studied whether sibling deaths in childhood is associated with all-cause and cause-specific mortality in young adulthood.

Methods

A national cohort born during 1973–1982 (N= 871 402) was followed prospectively in the Swedish Cause of Death Register from age 18 to 30–35. Multivariate Cox analyses of proportional hazards with adjustment for socio-demographic confounders were used to test the association between sibling loss and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in young adulthood. Sibling deaths were divided into deaths caused by external causes and natural causes and we studied mortality from CVD, cancer, other diseases, suicides and accidents among bereaved siblings.

Results

In men, the mortality risk for bereaved persons versus non bereaved persons during childhood/adolescence was 1.48 (95% CI: 1.17, 1.86), and in women it was 1.45 (95% CI: 1.01, 2.09) after adjustment for socio-demographic confounders. Losing anon-infant sibling (>1 years) was most detrimental for both men (HR: 1.65, 95% CI: 1.23, 2.23) and women (HR: 1.54,95% CI: 0.95, 2.50) while bereaved men (HR: 1.86, 95% CI:1.28, 2.72) and women (HR: 1.75, 95% CI: 0.97, 3.18) were most vulnerable when exposed to loss of a sibling inadolescence (12-18 years). Further, preliminary analyses showed that external causes of death were most detrimental for mortality among bereaved siblings.

Conclusions

Sibling death during childhood predicts mortality in young adulthood, particularly when persons are exposed in adolescence. Men and women are about equally vulnerable to sibling deaths at different stages of childhood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 25, no Suppl. 3, 53-53 p.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123125OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-123125DiVA: diva2:871768
Conference
8th European Public Health Conference, Health in Europe – from global to local policies, methods and practices, Mico, Milan, Italy, 14 - 17 October 2015
Available from: 2015-11-16 Created: 2015-11-16 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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