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Gonzalez-de Paz, L., Real, J., Borras-Santos, A., Martinez-Sanchez, J. M., Rodrigo-Banos, V., Dolores Navarro-Rubio, M

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

J Public Health Policy, 2016, 37, 2, 173, 89, IF: 1.775, PMID: 26865318

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.Journal of Public Health Policy advance online publication, 11 February 2016; doi:10.1057/jphp.2016.3


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