Details of Publication 472 for Project A169:

Pachana N, McLaughlin D, Leung J, McKenzie S & Dobson A. The effect of having a partner on activities of daily living in men and women aged 82 to 87 years. Maturitas, 2011; 68(3): 286-290

Background: Physical functioning is an important determinant of mortality and morbidity in older adults and there may be differences by gender and marital status. This study compared disability, measured by the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), between older men and women who are either partnered or not partnered.Methods: Participants included 5497women and 1072men aged 82–87 years from cross sectional surveys conducted in 2008 (the Health in Men Study and the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health). Ordinal logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between disability and gender by marital status, adjusting for self-reported chronic conditions.Results:Womenreported a higher prevalence of most chronic conditions than men. Unpartneredmenhad significantly higher odds of reporting difficulty in dressing the lower body and doing heavy housework, and significantly lower odds of reporting difficulty managing money and preparing meals than partnered men. Unpartnered and partnered women had significantly lower odds of reporting difficulty in dressing the lower body, walking inside the house, using the toilet, preparing meals, taking medications, using the telephone and performing leisure activities than partnered men. However, unpartnered and partnered women had significantly higher odds of reporting difficulty with eating, shopping, and doing light or heavy housework than did partnered men.Conclusions: Differences between partnered and unpartnered older men and women in difficulty with ADLs and IADLs were identified, with women reporting less difficulty overall, regardless of partner status.

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