Advertisement

European Journal of Ageing

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 71–82 | Cite as

What really matters in the social network–mortality association? A multivariate examination among older Jewish-Israelis

  • Howard LitwinEmail author
Original Investigation

Abstract

The aim of the inquiry was to examine the social network–mortality association within a wider multivariate context that accounts for the effects of background framing forces and psychobiological pathways. The inquiry was based upon the Berkman et al. (2000) conceptual model of the determinants of health. Its main purpose was to identify the salient network correlates of 7-year all cause mortality among Jewish men and women, aged 70 and over, in Israel (n = 1,811). The investigation utilized baseline data from a national household survey of older adults from 1997 that was linked to records from the National Death Registry, updated through 2004. At the time of the study, 38% of the sample had died. Multivariate Cox hazard regressions identified two main network-related components as predictors of survival: contact with friends, a social network interaction variable, and attendance at a synagogue, a social engagement variable. Friendship ties are seen to uniquely reduce mortality risk because they are based on choice in nature, and reflect a sense of personal control. Synagogue attendance is seen to promote survival mainly through its function as a source of communal attachment and, perhaps, as a reflection of spirituality as well. Other possibly network-related correlates of mortality were also noted in the current analysis—the receipt of instrumental support and the state of childlessness.

Keywords

Mortality Social network Friends Synagogue Jews Israel 

References

  1. Abas M, Hotopf M, Prince M (2002) Depression and mortality in a high-risk population: 11-year follow-up of the medical research council elderly hypertension trial. Br J Psychiatry 181:123–128Google Scholar
  2. Aguero-Torres H, Fratiglioni L, Guo Z, Viianen M, Winblad B (1999) Mortality from dementia in advanced age: a 5-year follow-up study of incident dementia cases. J Clin Epidemiol 52(8):737–743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahmad R, Bath PA (2005) Identification of risk factors for 15-year mortality among community-dwelling older people using Cox regression and a genetic algorithm. J Gerontol Med Sci 60(8):1052–1058Google Scholar
  4. Bath PA (2003) Differences between older men and women in the self-rated health-mortality relationship. Gerontologist 43(3):387–395Google Scholar
  5. Ben-Ezra M, Shmotkin D (2006) Predictors of mortality in the old-old in Israel: the cross-sectional and longitudinal aging study. J Am Geriatr Soc 54(6):906–911CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berkman LF, Syme SL (1979) Social networks, host resistance, and mortality: a nine-year follow up study of Alameda County residents. Am J Epidemiol 109:186–204Google Scholar
  7. Berkman LF, Glass T, Brissette I, Seeman TE (2000) From social integration to health: Durkheim in the new millennium. Soc Sci Med 51(6):843–857CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bisschop MI, Kriegsman DMW, van Tilburg TG, Penninx B, van Eijk JTM, Deeg DJH (2003) The influence of differing social ties on decline in physical functioning among older people with and without chronic diseases: the longitudinal aging study, Amsterdam. Aging Clin Exp Res 15:164–173Google Scholar
  9. Cooper JK, Harris Y, McGready J (2002) Sadness predicts death in older people. J Aging Health 14(4):509–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cuijpers P, Smit H (2002) Excess mortality in depression: a meta-analysis of community studies. J Affect Disord 72(3):227–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. de Groot L, Verheijden MW, de Henauw S, Schroll M, van Staveren WA (2004) Lifestyle, nutritional status, health, and mortality in elderly people across Europe: a review of the longitudinal results of the SENECA study. J Gerontol Med Sci 59(12):1277–1284Google Scholar
  12. Feil D, Marmon T, Unutzer J (2003) Cognitive impairment, chronic medical illness, and risk of mortality in an elderly cohort. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 11(5):551–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Flori KL, Antonucci TC, Cortina KS (2006) Social network typologies and mental health among older adults. J Gerontol Psychol Sci 61(1):P25–P32Google Scholar
  14. Ford AB, Haug MR, Stange KC, Gaines AD, Noelker LS, Jones PK (2000) Sustained personal autonomy: a measure of successful aging. J Aging Health 12(4):470–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fry PS, Debats DL (2006) Sources of life strengths as predictors of late-life mortality and survivorship. Int J Aging Hum Dev 62(4):303–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Giles LC, Glonek GFV, Luszcz MA, Andrews GR (2005) Effect of social networks on 10 year survival in very old Australians: the Australian longitudinal study of aging. J Epidemiol Community Health 59:574–579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Guilley E, Pin S, Spini D, d’Epinay CL, Herrmann F, Michel JP (2005) Association between social relationships and survival of Swiss octogenarians. A five-year prospective, population-based study. Aging Clin Exp Res 17(5):419–425Google Scholar
  18. Gustafsson TM, Isacson DGL, Thorslund M (1998) Mortality in elderly men and women in a Swedish municipality. Age Ageing 27(5):585–593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hill TD, Angel JL, Ellison CG, Angel RJ (2005) Religious attendance and mortality: An 8-year follow-up of older Mexican Americans. J Gerontol Soc Sci 60(2):S102–S109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. House JS, Robbins C, Metzner HL (1982) The association of social relationships and activities with mortality: prospective evidence from the Tecumseh community-health study. Am J Epidemiol 116(1):123–140Google Scholar
  21. Hummer RA, Ellison CG, Rogers RG, Moulton BE, Romero RR (2004) Religious involvement and adult mortality in the United States: review and perspective. South Med J 97(12):1223–1230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Idler EL, Musick MA, Ellison CG, George LK, Krause N, Ory MG, Pargament KI, Powell LH, Underwood LG, Williams DR (2003) Measuring multiple dimensions of religion and spirituality for health research: conceptual background and findings from the 1998 general social survey. Res Aging 25(4):327–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jaffe DH, Eisenbach Z, Neumark YD, Manor O (2005) Does living in a religiously affiliated neighborhood lower mortality? Ann Epidemiol 15(10):804–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Janssen F, Kunst AE (2005) Cohort patterns in mortality trends among the elderly in seven European countries, 1950–99. Int J Epidemiol 34(5):1149–1159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Krause N, Shaw BA (2000) Role-specific feelings of control and mortality. Psychol Aging 15(4):617–626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. la Cour P, Avlund K, Schultz-Larsen K (2006) Religion and survival in a secular region. A twenty year follow-up of 734 Danish adults born in 1914. Soc Sci Med 62(1):157–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Landi F, Cesari M, Onder G, Lattanzio F, Gravina EM, Bernabei R (2004) Physical activity and mortality in frail, community-living elderly patients. J Gerontol Med Sci 59(8):833–837Google Scholar
  28. Lennartsson C (1999) Social ties and health among the very old in Sweden. Res Aging 21(5):657–681CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Litwin H (2006) Social networks and self-rated health: a cross-cultural examination among older Israelis. J Aging Health 18(3):335–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Litwin H, Shiovitz-Ezra S (2006) Network type and mortality risk in later life. Gerontologist 46(6):735–743Google Scholar
  31. Maier H, Klumb PL (2005) Social participation and survival at older ages: is the effect driven by activity content or context? Eur J Ageing 2(1):31–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Manor O, Eisenbach Z, Peritz E, Friedlander Y (1999) Mortality differentials among Israeli men. Am J Public Health 89(12):1807–1813CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Manor O, Eisenbach Z, Israeli A, Friedlander Y (2000) Mortality differentials among women: the Israel longitudinal mortality study. Soc Sci Med 51:1175–1178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Newsom JT, Rook KS, Nishishiba M, Sorkin DH, Mahan TL (2005) Understanding the relative importance of positive and negative social exchanges: examining specific domains and appraisals. J Gerontol Psychol Sci 60(6):P304–P312Google Scholar
  35. Oida Y, Kitabatake Y, Nishijima Y, Nagamatsu T, Kohno H, Egawa K, Arao T (2003) Effects of a 5-year exercise-centered health-promoting programme on mortality and ADL impairment in the elderly. Age Ageing 32(6):585–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Orth-Gomer K, Johnson JV (1987) Social network interaction and mortality: a 6-year follow-up study of a random sample of the Swedish population. J Chron Dis 40(10):949–957CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pargament KI, Koenig HG, Tarakeshwar N, Hahn J (2001) Religious struggle as a predictor of mortality among medically ill elderly patients: a 2-year longitudinal study. Arch Intern Med 161(15):1881–1885CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Penninx B, van Tilburg T, Kriegsman DMW, Deeg DJH, Boeke AJP, vanEijk JTM (1997) Effects of social support and personal coping resources on mortality in older age: the longitudinal aging study Amsterdam. Am J Epidemiol 146:510–519Google Scholar
  39. Pudaric S, Sundquist J, Johansson SE (2003) Country of birth, instrumental activities of daily living, self-rated health and mortality: a Swedish population-based survey of people aged 55–74. Soc Sci Med 56(12):2493–2503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rasulo D, Christensen K, Tomassini C (2005) The influence of social relations on mortality in later life: a study on elderly Danish twins. Gerontologist 45(5):601–608Google Scholar
  41. Rutledge T, Matthews K, Lui LY, Stone KL, Cauley JA (2003) Social networks and marital status predict mortality in older women: prospective evidence from the study of osteoporotic fractures (SOF). Psychosom Med 65(4):688–694CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schupf N, Costa R, Luchsinger J, Tang MX, Lee JH, Mayeux R (2005) Relationship between plasma lipids and all-cause mortality in nondemented elderly. J Am Geriatr Soc 53(2):219–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Shahtahmasebi S, Davies R, Wenger GC (1992) A longitudinal analysis of factors related to survival in old-age. Gerontologist 32(3):404–413Google Scholar
  44. Sugisawa H, Liang J, Liu X (1994) Social networks, social support and mortality among older-people In Japan. J Gerontol 49(1):S3–S13Google Scholar
  45. Tartaro J, Luecken LJ, Gunn HE (2005) Exploring heart and soul: effects of religiosity/spirituality and gender on blood pressure and cortisol stress responses. J Health Psychol 10(6):753–766CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tschanz JT, Corcoran C, Skoog I, Khachaturian AS, Herrick J, Hayden KM et al (2004) Dementia: the leading predictor of death in a defined elderly population—The Cache County study. Neurology 62(7):1156–1162Google Scholar
  47. van den Brink CL, Tijhuis M, van den Bos GAM, Giampaoli S, Nissinen A, Kromhout D (2005) The contribution of self-rated health and depressive symptoms to disability severity as a predictor of 10-year mortality in European elderly men. Am J Pub Health 95(11):2029–2034CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Walter-Ginzburg A, Blumstein T, Chetrit A, Modan B (2002) Social factors and mortality in the old-old in Israel: The CALAS study. J Gerontol Soc Sci 57(5):S308–S318Google Scholar
  49. Walter-Ginzburg A, Shmotkin D, Blumstein T, Shorek A (2005) A gender-based dynamic multidimensional longitudinal analysis of resilience and mortality in the old-old in Israel: the cross-sectional and longitudinal aging study (CALAS). Soc Sci Med 60(8):1705–1715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Weltoft GR, Burstrom B, Rosen W (2004) Premature mortality among lone fathers and childless men. Soc Sci Med 59:1449–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wen M, Cagney KA, Christakis NA (2005) Effect of specific aspects of community social environment on the mortality of individuals diagnosed with serious illness. Soc Sci Med 61(6):1119–1134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wulsin LR, Vaillant GE, Wells VE (1999) A systematic review of the mortality of depression. Psychosom Med 61(1):6–17Google Scholar
  53. Yasuda N, Zimmerman SI, Hawkes W, Fredman L, Hebel JR, Magaziner J (1997) Relation of social network characteristics to 5-year mortality among young-old versus old-old white women in an urban community. Am J Epidemiol 145(6):516–523Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Israel Gerontological Data CenterThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations