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J Public Health Policy. 2016 May;37(2):173-89. doi: 10.1057/jphp.2016.3. Epub 2016 Feb 11.

Associations between informal care, disease, and risk factors: A Spanish country-wide population-based study.

Author information

1
Facultat de Medicina i Ciencies de la Salut, Public Health Unit, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, C. Doctor Trueta S/N, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona 08195, Spain.
2
Centre d'Atenció Primària Les Corts. Transverse Group for Research in Primary Care, IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.
3
Institut d'Investigació en Atenció Primària Jordi Gol (IDIAP Jordi Gol). USR-Lleida, Lleida, Spain.
4
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES), Madrid, Spain.
5
Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain.
6
Biostatistics Unit, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Sant Cugat del Vallès Barcelona, Spain.
7
Tobacco Control Unit, Cancer Prevention and Control Programme, Catalan Institute of Oncology-ICO, Hospitalet de Llobregat Barcelona, Spain.
8
Cancer Control and Prevention Group, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute-IDIBELL, Hospitalet de Llobregat Barcelona, Spain.
9
Albert Jovell Institute for Public Health and Patients. Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Sant Cugat del Vallès Barcelona, Spain.
10
Spanish Patient's Forum, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

This population-based study using 2011-2012 Spanish National Health Survey data aimed to measure the impact of disease, health-related habits, and risk factors associated with informal caregiving. We included and matched self-reported informal caregivers [ICs] with controls (1:4) from the same survey. For each outcome, we analyzed associations between ICs and controls using linear regression or logistic regression models. ICs had 3.4 per cent more depression (OR: 1.33, 95 per cent confidence intervals [CI]:1.06, 1.68). ICs had lower social support (95 per cent CI: 1.64, 3.28), they did more housework alone (OR:3.6, 95 per cent CI:2.65, 4.89), and had greater stress (95 per cent CI:0.13, 0.83). Women ICs caring alone had more anxiety than other groups. We found no statistical association between caregivers and worse health-related habits or increased risk factors (less physical activity, smoking, drinking, and cholesterol). Our results provide evidence that health-care professionals and organizations should recognize the importance of caring for those who care.

PMID:
26865318
DOI:
10.1057/jphp.2016.3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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