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.
KeywordsSubjective health Marital status Age differences Gender differences GxE interaction Moderation model
IGEMS is supported by the National Institutes of Health Grant No. R01 AG037985. SATSA was supported by Grants R01 AG04563, R01 AG10175, the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Aging, the Swedish Council For Working Life and Social Research (FAS) (97:0147:1B, 2009-0795) and Swedish Research Council (825-2007-7460, 825-2009-6141). OCTO-Twin was supported by grant R01 AG08861. TOSS was supported by Grant R01 MH54610 from the National Institute of Health. The Danish Twin Registry is supported by grants from The National Program for Research Infrastructure 2007 from the Danish Agency for Science and Innovation, the Velux Foundation and the US National Institute of Health (P01 AG08761). The Minnesota Twin Study of Adult Development and Aging was supported by NIA Grant R01 AG 06886. VETSA was supported by National Institute of Health Grants NIA R01 AG018384, R01 AG018386, R01 AG022381, and R01 AG022982, and, in part, with resources of the VA San Diego Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health. The Cooperative Studies Program of the Office of Research & Development of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has provided financial support for the development and maintenance of the Vietnam Era Twin Registry. MIDUS twin study was supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Midlife Development and by National Institute on Aging Grant AG20166. Data collection and analyses in the Finnish twin cohort have been supported by ENGAGE—European Network for Genetic and Genomic Epidemiology, FP7-HEALTH-F4-2007, grant agreement number 201413, National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Grants AA-12502, AA-00145, and AA-09203 to R J Rose), and the Academy of Finland (Grants 100499, 205585, 118555, 141054, 265240, 263278 and 264146 to J. Kaprio). The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIA/NIH, or the VA.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
Research at each site was conducted according to the applicable rules of research involving human participants. Informed consent was obtained from all participants.
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