In a Longevity Society, Loss and Grief Are Emerging Risk Factors for Health Care Use

In a society of long lives, parent and child life can overlap by as much as 50 years. Most children now experience the death of their parents as adults. Many of the 2.5 million deaths each year in the United States are parents. Parental loss is a risk factor for subsequent illness. The Health and Retirement Survey is a representative cohort of persons aged 50 to 70 years. Using the 2010 cohort data, we estimate risk for use of health care after the death of a parent. Loss is a near universal experience in the cohort (87%). A report of any loss increases risk of health care utilization by 20% to 30%. For a longevity society, preventing loss-related hospitalization is a measurable outcome for bereavement care.

via In a Longevity Society, Loss and Grief Are Emerging Risk Factors for Health Care Use.

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