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Seminar Series: Benjamin Capistrant, Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota

Spousal Caregiving and Decreased Mortality Risk: Empirically Testing Hypothesized Mechanisms
When Mar 02, 2015
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1101 Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
Attendees Luoman Bao
Nicole Bedera
Jacob Bueno de Mesqmita
Feinia Chen
Melissa Chua
Jennifer Guida
Jonathan Jackson
Joan Kahn
Zhiyong Lin
Sal Luo
Sangeetha Madhavan
Sara Mosher
Bianna Murray
Tyler Myroniuk
Amanda Nguyen
Stephanie Rennane
Basheer M. Saeed
Liana Sayer
Mahesh Somashekhar
Shengwei Sun
Elizabeth Sully
Andrew Williams
Yeats Ye
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About the Talk

A few recent studies have shown spousal caregiving to be associated with a decreased mortality risk. However, the main hypothesized mechanisms to explain this association (healthy worker selection bias into caregiving roles and psychosocial benefits of altruism) have not been well tested empirically. I assessed the association between spousal caregiving (>=14 care hours / week) and all-cause mortality using data from the Health and Retirement Study between 2000-2012. I used a stabilized inverse-probability-weighted marginal structural model, specifically a logistic model, to estimate the odds of caregiving on morality. After accounting for both healthy worker selection bias and mediation by altruism, the controlled direct effect of spousal caregiving was a significant, reduced odds of mortality; this was true after accounting for psychosocial mediators, for long-term caregivers, and robust to a sensitivity analysis. Neither health worker selection bias nor psychosocial mediation can fully account for spousal caregiving being associated with lower odds of mortality.

About the Speaker


Ben Capistrant is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Epidemiology & Community Health at the University of Minnesota  and a member of the Minnesota Population Center. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Carolina Population Center at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, and completed Masters and Doctoral training in social epidemiology at Harvard University.

His research focuses on social determinants of aging and non-communicable diseases, both in the U.S., and in low- and middle-income countries. He is particularly interested in the interplay between family dynamics and health in old age. He is also interested in how social factors like race / ethnicity and education are associated with health outcomes like disability and cardiovascular disease.

Visit Professor Capistrant's webpage

Please note that, at the present time, Morrill Hall is not accessible for handicapped individuals.

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