Risk of Mortality Related to Widowhood in Older Mexican Americans

Jim P. Stimpson, Yong Fang Kuo, Laura A. Ray, Mukaila Raji, Mary Peek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To examine the risk and correlates of mortality after death of a spouse and whether mortality risk varies by sex. Methods: Prospective cohort study (1993 to 2000) of 1693 Mexican Americans ages 65 years and older who were married at baseline. Mortality was confirmed by matching records with the National Death Index or through proxy report. Risk of death related to incidence of widowhood was estimated by using proportional hazard regression and adjusted for age, education, US nativity, financial strain, social support, health behaviors, medical conditions, disability, and depressive symptoms. Results: In the unadjusted Cox hazard analysis, widowed men are significantly more likely to die (HR = 2.32, CI = 1.48 to 3.61), but loss of spouse has no significant effect on the subsequent risk of death for widowed women (HR = 1.50, CI = 0.90 to 2.49). After adjustment for covariates known to influence survival, the association between widowhood and mortality in men remained significant, but the magnitude of the association decreased by 26%, which suggests a partial mediation effect of these factors on survival. The trajectory of the survival curve shows that the risk of death associated with widowhood is highest within the first 2 years. Conclusions: Widowhood in older Mexican American men is a risk factor for mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-319
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

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Widowhood
Mortality
Spouses
Survival
Health Behavior
Proxy
Social Support
Cohort Studies
Prospective Studies
Depression
Education
Incidence

Keywords

  • Marriage
  • Mexican Americans
  • Mortality
  • Widowhood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology

Cite this

Risk of Mortality Related to Widowhood in Older Mexican Americans. / Stimpson, Jim P.; Kuo, Yong Fang; Ray, Laura A.; Raji, Mukaila; Peek, Mary.

In: Annals of Epidemiology, Vol. 17, No. 4, 04.2007, p. 313-319.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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