For Under-75s, Living Alone Tied to Higher Mortality Risk

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(HealthDay News) – For adults <75 years of age, living alone is a significant predictor of all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Jan. 14 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

To examine the correlation between living alone and the risk of mortality among community-dwelling adults, Bamini Gopinath, PhD, from the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues assessed self-reported health status using the 36-Item Short-Form Survey from 3,486 participants in the Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) population-based cohort (aged ≥49 years). Participants who reported living with nobody or living with pets were classified as living alone. Australian National Death Index data were used to confirm deaths.

The researchers found that, over 10 years of follow-up, 21.2% of participants died. For the overall cohort, living alone was not associated with total mortality after multivariable adjustment. Living alone was associated with a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality (15% vs. 11.4%; multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio, 1.36) in participants <75 years. Living alone was not associated with total mortality or cardiovascular disease mortality in those aged ≥75 years.

"In the BMES, living alone was a significant predictor of all-cause mortality among those <75 years, independent of self-perceived health status and socioeconomic and medical covariates," the authors write.

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