Better alone? The impact of living arrangements on mortality of Costa Rican older adults

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Previous research has shown differentiated effects of living arrangement types on mortality. However, little is known about this phenomenon in Latin America and its multigenerational households. This study measures the relationship between older adults’ living arrangement types and subsequent mortality. Gompertz event history models were performed to estimate mortality differences across living arrangements. We used the Costa Rica Longevity and Aging Study (CRELES) pre-1945 cohort in the 2005, 2007, and 2009 waves. The results show that older adults who live with a partner have the highest survival rates among the categories tested. When controlling for sex and age in the model, the effect of living alone is not different from partnered living. When controlling for socioeconomic and health factors as well, older adults living with their children or others show an increased risk of death by at least 40% (p-value<0.05). The study demonstrates an association between living arrangements and older adult mortality in Costa Rica. Results show that the highest survival chances rely on being partnered and suggest that support exchanges with other family members are not equally effective. Including this variable type in mortality studies is crucial to better understanding how household conditions relate to health and mortality outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0236
JournalRevista Brasileira de Estudos de População
Publication statusPublished - 14. Apr 2023


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