Abstract

Donkin A. Does living alone damage men's health? Reports on an analysis of the relationship between living alone and risk of death or limiting long-term illness for men who were present in the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study (LS) in both 1971 and 1981. Health Statistics Quarterly 2001; 11 (Autumn 2001): 11-16.

This paper reports on an analysis of the relationship between living alone and risk of death or limiting long-term illness (LLTI) for men who were present in the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study (LS) in both 1971 and 1981. Recent research has suggested that middle-aged men living alone are in worse health than others. Analysis of LS data confirms this. Men aged 45 years and over who lived alone in 1981 had higher mortality rates than men who lived with others, in the following 18 years, and were also more likely to report a LLTI in 1991, after controlling for age. However, analyses of the determinants of mortality and LLTI suggested that living alone was not independently associated with higher mortality or morbidity after taking account of marital status in 81, and change in marital status between 1971 and 1981, for most marital status situations.