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Partnership history and health and mortality in later life: an analysis of record linkage data from England and Wales

Emily Grundy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Cecilia Tomassini, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Sabya Farooq, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Marital status is recognised as a key demographic variable associated with both mental and physical health, although more so for men than women. Both selection and protection mechanisms are thought to underlie these associations. However, changes in gender and family roles mean both the theoretical and empirical basis of the association between marital status and health needs re-examination and in particular the effect of marital history, rather than just current status, needs to be considered. In this study we will use the ONS Longitudinal Study of England & Wales to analyse long term effects of marital history on health and mortality in later life. The LS includes census and vital event information for 1% of the population and spans three decades (1971-2001). We will analyse the effects of marital history on health status in 1991 and 2001 (for survivors) and on risk of death using regression and survival analysis methods.

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Presented in Session 187: The consequences of marital dissolution