Gender Differences in Marital Status Moderation of Genetic and Environmental Influences on Subjective Health
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From the IGEMS Consortium, data were available from 26,579 individuals aged 23 to 102 years on 3 subjective health items: self-rated health (SRH), health compared to others (COMP), and impact of health on activities (ACT). Marital status was a marker of environmental resources that may moderate genetic and environmental influences on subjective health. Results differed for the 3 subjective health items, indicating that they do not tap the same construct. Although there was little impact of marital status on variance components for women, marital status was a significant modifier of variance in all 3 subjective health measures for men. For both SRH and ACT, single men demonstrated greater shared and nonshared environmental variance than married men. For the COMP variable, genetic variance was greater for single men vs. married men. Results suggest gender differences in the role of marriage as a source of resources that are associated with subjective health.