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Close Companions at Church, Health, and Health Care Use in Late Life

Publication Abstract

Krause, Neal. 2010. "Close Companions at Church, Health, and Health Care Use in Late Life." Journal of Aging and Health, 22(4): 434-453.

Objective: This article studies whether there are age variations in the relationships between having a close companion friend at church, health, and outpatient physician visits. Method: The data come from two waves of interviews in a nationwide survey of older adults. These data are analyzed with ordinary least squares multiple regression analyses. Results: The findings reveal that older people who have a close companion friend in the place where they worship are more likely to rate their health in a favorable way over time. However, these health-related benefits emerge only among the oldest-old study participants. The data results further indicate that having a close friend at church is associated with fewer outpatient physician visits over time, but once again, the results are observed only among the oldest old. Discussion: The results from this study provide preliminary insight into one way in which spiraling health care costs may eventually be curtailed.

DOI:10.1177/0898264309359537 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC2866809. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States.

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