Marital Status, Intergenerational Co-Residence and Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality among Middle-Aged and Older Men and Women during Wartime in Beirut: Gains and Liabilities

Abla Sibai, American University of Beirut
Astrid Fletcher, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Using data from a retrospective 10-year follow-up study (1984-94) among 1,567 adults aged 50 years and older, we examine in this study associations of marital status and intergenerational coresidence with mortality in Lebanon, a country that suffered wars and atrocities for almost 16 years. While widowhood was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality among men only, being never married was associated with a higher CVD mortality risk among men and women. The presence of an adult married child was associated with a significantly higher mortality risk for men and women, even after adjusting for household socioeconomic indicators, marital status, lifestyle variables or pre-existing health-related conditions (hypertension, cholesterol, and diabetes) at baseline. The popular belief that co-residence with adult children reflects greater support networks and an avenue for old age security may not be a valid presumption in the Lebanese context during times of war.

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Presented in Poster Session 6