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Exposure to out-of-home care in childhood and adult all-cause mortality: a cohort study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Epidemiology, ISSN 0300-5771, E-ISSN 1464-3685, Vol. 46, no 3, 1010-1017 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Children placed in out-of-home care (OHC) have exceedingly high rates of health problems. Their poor health tends to persist across adolescence and into young adulthood, resulting in increased risks of mortality. Yet, very little is known about this group’s mortality risks later in life. The aim of this study was to investigate whether OHC was associated with the risk of all-cause mortality across adulthood, and whether these risks varied across different placement characteristics. Moreover, the study addressed potential confounding by including two comparison groups with children who grew up under similarly adverse living conditions but did not experience placement.

Methods: Data were derived from a 60-year follow-up of a Stockholm cohort born in 1953 (n = 15 048), of whom around 9% have had experiences of OHC. The associations between OHC and subsequent all-cause mortality were analysed by means of Cox’s proportional hazards regression models.

Results: Individuals who were placed in OHC at any point during their formative years had increased mortality risks across ages 20 to 56 years. Elevated risk of mortality was particularly pronounced among those who were placed in adolescence and/or because of their own behaviours. Children who were exposed to OHC had increased risks of mortality also when compared with those who grew up under similar living conditions but did not experience placement.

Conclusions: Children in OHC constitute a high-risk group for subsequent mortality. In order to narrow the mortality gap, interventions may need to monitor not only health aspects but also to target the cognitive and social development of these children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 46, no 3, 1010-1017 p.
Keyword [en]
Cohort studies, foster home care, longitudinal studies, mortality
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133723DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyw295ISI: 000406242600034OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-133723DiVA: diva2:968896
Available from: 2016-09-13 Created: 2016-09-13 Last updated: 2017-08-21Bibliographically approved

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Brännström, LarsAlmquist B., Ylva
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