Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Public Health. 2009 Jul;99(7):1315-21. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.151142. Epub 2009 May 14.

The relationship between living arrangement and preventive care use among community-dwelling elderly persons.

Author information

  • 1Buehler Center on Aging, Health & Society, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, 750 North Lake Shore Dr, Suite 601, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. D-Lau@northwestern.edu



We sought to examine the relationship between living arrangements and obtaining preventive care among the elderly population.


We obtained data on 13,038 community-dwelling elderly persons from the 2002 to 2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and used multivariate logistic regression models to estimate the likelihood of preventive care use among elderly persons in 4 living arrangements: living alone (38%), living with one's spouse only (52%), living with one's spouse and with one's adult offspring (5%), and living with one's adult offspring only (5%). Preventive care services included influenza vaccination, physical and dental checkup, and screenings for hypertension, cholesterol, and colorectal cancer.


After we controlled for age, gender, race, education, income, health insurance, comorbidities, self-reported health, physical function status, and residence location, we found that elderly persons living with a spouse only were more likely than were those living alone to obtain all preventive care services, except for hypertension screening. However, those living with their adult offspring were not more likely to obtain recommended preventive care compared with those living alone. These results did not change when the employment status and functional status of adult offspring were considered.


Interventions to improve preventive care use should target not only those elderly persons who live alone but also those living with adult offspring.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk