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Life course social roles and women's health in mid-life: causation or selection?

McMunn, A; Bartley, M; Hardy, R; Kuh, D; (2006) Life course social roles and women's health in mid-life: causation or selection? J EPIDEMIOL COMMUN H , 60 (6) 484 - 489. 10.1136/jech.2005.042473. Green open access

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Abstract

Study objective: To investigate whether relations between social roles and health are explained by health selection into employment and parenthood by examining the influence of early health on relations between long term social role histories and health in mid-life.Design: Prospective, population based, birth cohort study.Participants and setting: Women from a national British cohort born in 1946, including 1171 women with a valid measure of self reported health at age 54 and valid work and family role measures at ages 26, 36, 43, and 53, as well as 1433 women with a valid body mass index (BMI) measure at age 53 and valid work and family role measures at ages 26, 36, 43, and 53.Outcome measures: Self reported health at age 54 and obesity at age 53, taken from objective height and weight measures conducted by a survey nurse during face to face interviews in respondents' homes.Main results: Women who occupied multiple roles over the long term reported relatively good health at age 54 and this was not explained by early health. Women with weak long term ties to the labour market were more likely to be obese at age 53. Examination of body mass index (BMI) from age 15 showed that long term homemakers were larger than other women from age 26, but their mean BMI increased significantly more with age than that of other women.Conclusions: Relations between social roles and health were generally not explained by health selection into employment and parenthood, although some health selection may occur for obesity.

Type: Article
Title: Life course social roles and women's health in mid-life: causation or selection?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/jech.2005.042473
Publisher version: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC25639...
Keywords: SOCIOECONOMIC-STATUS, PAID EMPLOYMENT, MULTIPLE ROLES, PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS, YOUNG ADULTHOOD, PHYSICAL HEALTH, BIRTH COHORT, BRITISH, PERSONALITY, MORTALITY
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1841
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