Department of Economics and Business Economics

Childlessness, parental mortality and psychiatric illness: a natural experiment based on in vitro fertility treatment and adoption

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Childlessness, parental mortality and psychiatric illness : a natural experiment based on in vitro fertility treatment and adoption. / Agerbo, Esben; Mortensen, Preben Bo; Munk-Olsen, Trine.

In: Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, Vol. 67, No. 4, 2013, p. 374-376.

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@article{4d7f70a46352443aaf9dda36dd155412,
title = "Childlessness, parental mortality and psychiatric illness: a natural experiment based on in vitro fertility treatment and adoption",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Childlessness increases the risk of premature mortality and psychiatric illness. These results might, however, be confounded by factors that affect both the chance of parenthood as well as the risk of premature death and psychiatric illness. METHODS: Using population-based health and social registers, we conducted a follow-up study of 21 276 childless couples in in vitro fertility treatment. RESULTS: The crude death rate ratio in women who become mothers to a biological child is 0.25 (95% CI 0.16 to 0.39). In other words, childless women experience a fourfold higher rate of death, that is, 4.02 (2.56 to 6.31). The analogous death rate in fathers is approximately halved: 0.51 (0.39 to 0.68) and 0.55 (0.32 to 0.96) associated with having a biological child and an adopted child, respectively. With substance use disorders being the exception, none of the crude rates of psychiatric illness in parents of a biological child were statistically distinguishable from the rates in the childless. These findings were slightly confounded by age, calendar year, income, education, somatic comorbidity and marital breakup. CONCLUSIONS: Mindful that association is not causation, our results suggest that the mortality rates are higher in the childless. Rates of psychiatric illness do not appear to vary with childlessness, but the rate of psychiatric illness in parents who adopt is decreased.",
author = "Esben Agerbo and Mortensen, {Preben Bo} and Trine Munk-Olsen",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1136/jech-2012-201387",
language = "English",
volume = "67",
pages = "374--376",
journal = "Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health",
issn = "0143-005X",
publisher = "B M J Group",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Childlessness, parental mortality and psychiatric illness

T2 - a natural experiment based on in vitro fertility treatment and adoption

AU - Agerbo, Esben

AU - Mortensen, Preben Bo

AU - Munk-Olsen, Trine

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - BACKGROUND: Childlessness increases the risk of premature mortality and psychiatric illness. These results might, however, be confounded by factors that affect both the chance of parenthood as well as the risk of premature death and psychiatric illness. METHODS: Using population-based health and social registers, we conducted a follow-up study of 21 276 childless couples in in vitro fertility treatment. RESULTS: The crude death rate ratio in women who become mothers to a biological child is 0.25 (95% CI 0.16 to 0.39). In other words, childless women experience a fourfold higher rate of death, that is, 4.02 (2.56 to 6.31). The analogous death rate in fathers is approximately halved: 0.51 (0.39 to 0.68) and 0.55 (0.32 to 0.96) associated with having a biological child and an adopted child, respectively. With substance use disorders being the exception, none of the crude rates of psychiatric illness in parents of a biological child were statistically distinguishable from the rates in the childless. These findings were slightly confounded by age, calendar year, income, education, somatic comorbidity and marital breakup. CONCLUSIONS: Mindful that association is not causation, our results suggest that the mortality rates are higher in the childless. Rates of psychiatric illness do not appear to vary with childlessness, but the rate of psychiatric illness in parents who adopt is decreased.

AB - BACKGROUND: Childlessness increases the risk of premature mortality and psychiatric illness. These results might, however, be confounded by factors that affect both the chance of parenthood as well as the risk of premature death and psychiatric illness. METHODS: Using population-based health and social registers, we conducted a follow-up study of 21 276 childless couples in in vitro fertility treatment. RESULTS: The crude death rate ratio in women who become mothers to a biological child is 0.25 (95% CI 0.16 to 0.39). In other words, childless women experience a fourfold higher rate of death, that is, 4.02 (2.56 to 6.31). The analogous death rate in fathers is approximately halved: 0.51 (0.39 to 0.68) and 0.55 (0.32 to 0.96) associated with having a biological child and an adopted child, respectively. With substance use disorders being the exception, none of the crude rates of psychiatric illness in parents of a biological child were statistically distinguishable from the rates in the childless. These findings were slightly confounded by age, calendar year, income, education, somatic comorbidity and marital breakup. CONCLUSIONS: Mindful that association is not causation, our results suggest that the mortality rates are higher in the childless. Rates of psychiatric illness do not appear to vary with childlessness, but the rate of psychiatric illness in parents who adopt is decreased.

U2 - 10.1136/jech-2012-201387

DO - 10.1136/jech-2012-201387

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 23225729

VL - 67

SP - 374

EP - 376

JO - Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

JF - Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

SN - 0143-005X

IS - 4

ER -