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Loneliness as a risk factor for care home admission in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Barbara Hanratty, Daniel Stow, Dr Nicole Valtorta, Professor Fiona Matthews

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This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Oxford University Press, 2018.

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Abstract

Background: Loneliness has an adverse effect on health and wellbeing, and is common at older ages. Evidence that it is a risk factor for care home admission is sparse. Objective: To investigate the association between loneliness and care home admission Setting: English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) Particpants: 254 Individuals across seven waves (2002-2015) of ELSA who moved into care homes were age, sex matched to four randomly selected individuals who remained in the community. Methods: Logistic regression models examined associations between loneliness, socio-demographic factors, functional status, and health on moving into care homes. Results: Loneliness (measured by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Loneliness Scale and a single-item question from the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)) was associated with moving into a care home (CES-D OR 2·13, 95%CI 1·43-3·17, p=0·0002, UCLA OR 1·81, 95%CI 1·01-3·27, p=0·05). The association persisted after adjusting for established predictors (age, sex, social isolation, depression, memory problems including diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, disability, long-term physical health, and wealth). The impact of loneliness (measured by CES-D) on admission accounted for a population attributable fraction of 19·9% (95% CI 7·8%-30·4%). Conclusions: Loneliness conveys an independent risk of care home admission that, unlike other risk factors, may be amenable to modification. Tackling loneliness amongst older adults may be a way of enhancing wellbeing and delaying or reducing the demand for institutional care.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Hanratty B, Stow D, Collingridge Moore D, Valtorta NK, Matthews FE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Age and Ageing

Year: 2018

Volume: 47

Issue: 6

Pages: 896-900

Print publication date: 01/11/2018

Online publication date: 10/07/2018

Acceptance date: 25/05/2018

Date deposited: 25/05/2018

ISSN (print): 0002-0729

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2834

Publisher: Oxford University Press

URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afy095

DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afy095


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