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Social integration and healthy aging among U.S. women.


ABSTRACT: Social integration has been related to risk of chronic diseases and mental health conditions.We investigated the association between social integration in midlife with subsequent health and well-being in aging.We included women from the Nurses' Health Study in the United States, who had no major chronic diseases in 1996 when we assessed social integration, using the Berkman-Syme Social Network Index. We defined healthy aging after 16?years of follow-up, when women ranged from 66 to 91?years, on the basis of survival along with 4 health criteria, assessed in 2012: no history of major chronic disease diagnosis, no self-reported impairment in memory, and no major impairments in physical function or mental health.Of the 41,013 surviving participants in 2012 with information on social integration and health criteria, 6206 (15.1%) were healthy agers (i.e., met all four criteria) and the remaining 34,807 (84.9%) were usual agers. After multivariable adjustment, women who were socially integrated at midlife had modestly better odds (odds ratio?=?1.38, 95% confidence interval: 1.23, 1.55) of healthy aging compared to women who were socially isolated.In this study, we found that women who were more socially integrated were more likely to be healthy agers. The results provide evidence for a longitudinal association between social integration and healthy aging.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5840846 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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