Partnership Trajectories and Biomarkers in Later Life: A Life Course Approach

Maja Djundeva, University of Groningen
Emily Grundy, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

This study investigates how partnership histories of older men and women are associated with later life health using biomarkerks as objective health measures (C-reactive protein (CRP), HbA1c (blood sugar level), systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Partnership histories derived via sequence analyses, optimal matching and clyster analysis that span over 35 years are described using the third and the fourth wave of the German Survey of Health and Retirement Europe (SHARE). Next to selection mechanisms (early life conditions, smoking and physical exercise) the mentioned longitudinal partnership patterns are used to investigate accumulative partnership effects on health. Results reveal that men in a cohabiting trajectory have a higher score on the CRP marker (related to heart disease) and a higher diastolic pressure compared to continuously married men. For women, there is notable absence of such effects on biomarkers.

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 Presented in Session P5. Adult Health and Mortality