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Assessing survival in widowers, and controls - a nationwide, six- to nine-year follow-up.

Skulason B, Jonsdottir LS, Sigurdardottir V, Helgason AR - BMC Public Health (2012)

Bottom Line: Mortality rates were compared between the groups and also with the general population.Causes of death were also compared between widowers and their wives.A statistically significant increase in mortality in the widowers' group, compared to controls, was observed.Lifestyle-related factors could not be excluded as contributing to cause of death in these cases.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Iceland, Saemundargata, Reykjavik IS101, Iceland. bragi@landspitali.is

ABSTRACT

Background: The aim of this study was to assess if widowers had an increased mortality rate during the first 6 to 9 years after the death of their wife, compared initially to an age-matched control group and also compared to the general population of Iceland.

Methods: The study base was comprised of all 371 men born in 1924-1969 who were widowed in Iceland in 1999-2001 and 357 controls, married men, who were matched by age and residence.The widowers and controls were followed through the years 2002-2007 using information from Statistics Iceland. Mortality rates were compared between the groups and also with the general population. The mortality rate comparisons were: study group vs. control group, on the one hand, and study group vs. general population on the other. Causes of death were also compared between widowers and their wives.

Results: A statistically significant increase in mortality in the widowers' group, compared to controls, was observed.Lifestyle-related factors could not be excluded as contributing to cause of death in these cases.

Conclusions: Being a widower was related to an increased risk of death for at least 9 years after the death of their wife.

Show MeSH
Kaplan -Meier survival estimates. Group of age-matched widowers and a control group of married men. The group is followed from Jan 1st 1999 to Jan 1st 2008.
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Figure 1: Kaplan -Meier survival estimates. Group of age-matched widowers and a control group of married men. The group is followed from Jan 1st 1999 to Jan 1st 2008.

Mentions: Survival estimates adjusted for year of birth were calculated comparing widowers with controls (Table 3 and Figure 1). As observed in Table 3 the differences in survival estimates were significant between the groups from the second year after loss and the differences in survival appeared to increase over time. The differences in survival between the groups over time are illustrated using the Kaplan-Meier survival estimates presented in Figure 1, and the log-rank test for equality of survivor function (p = 0.0003) (Figure 1).


Assessing survival in widowers, and controls - a nationwide, six- to nine-year follow-up.

Skulason B, Jonsdottir LS, Sigurdardottir V, Helgason AR - BMC Public Health (2012)

Kaplan -Meier survival estimates. Group of age-matched widowers and a control group of married men. The group is followed from Jan 1st 1999 to Jan 1st 2008.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3295697&req=5

Figure 1: Kaplan -Meier survival estimates. Group of age-matched widowers and a control group of married men. The group is followed from Jan 1st 1999 to Jan 1st 2008.
Mentions: Survival estimates adjusted for year of birth were calculated comparing widowers with controls (Table 3 and Figure 1). As observed in Table 3 the differences in survival estimates were significant between the groups from the second year after loss and the differences in survival appeared to increase over time. The differences in survival between the groups over time are illustrated using the Kaplan-Meier survival estimates presented in Figure 1, and the log-rank test for equality of survivor function (p = 0.0003) (Figure 1).

Bottom Line: Mortality rates were compared between the groups and also with the general population.Causes of death were also compared between widowers and their wives.A statistically significant increase in mortality in the widowers' group, compared to controls, was observed.Lifestyle-related factors could not be excluded as contributing to cause of death in these cases.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Iceland, Saemundargata, Reykjavik IS101, Iceland. bragi@landspitali.is

ABSTRACT

Background: The aim of this study was to assess if widowers had an increased mortality rate during the first 6 to 9 years after the death of their wife, compared initially to an age-matched control group and also compared to the general population of Iceland.

Methods: The study base was comprised of all 371 men born in 1924-1969 who were widowed in Iceland in 1999-2001 and 357 controls, married men, who were matched by age and residence.The widowers and controls were followed through the years 2002-2007 using information from Statistics Iceland. Mortality rates were compared between the groups and also with the general population. The mortality rate comparisons were: study group vs. control group, on the one hand, and study group vs. general population on the other. Causes of death were also compared between widowers and their wives.

Results: A statistically significant increase in mortality in the widowers' group, compared to controls, was observed.Lifestyle-related factors could not be excluded as contributing to cause of death in these cases.

Conclusions: Being a widower was related to an increased risk of death for at least 9 years after the death of their wife.

Show MeSH