The Relationship Between Living Alone and Self-Rated Health Varies by Age: Evidence From the National Health Interview Survey

Carrie Henning-Smith, Gilbert Gonzales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite growing attention to the connection between living arrangements and health, less is known about how the health of individuals living alone varies by age. Using data from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey (N = 30,079), we estimated logistic regression models stratified by age group, comparing health by living arrangement and controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. Middle-aged adults living alone had higher odds of poor/fair self-rated health, compared with adults living with others (35-64 years of age: adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.19, p <.05). In contrast, older adults (65 years and older) living alone had significantly lower odds of reporting poor/fair health than their counterparts living with others (AOR =.70, p <.001). The direction of association between self-rated health and other covariates did not differ by age group. The relationship between living alone and health varies by age and policies and programs designed to support the growing population of people living alone should be tailored accordingly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-980
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Volume39
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Keywords

  • National Health Interview Survey
  • age differences
  • living arrangements
  • self-rated health

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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