Non-parental care and mortality: A 40-year follow-up using the ONS Longitudinal Study

Sacker, A. & Murray, E. (2019) SLLS Conference, Pottsdam, Germany, 25 – 27 Sept 2019 [ONS LS]

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Abstract:

The adverse life-long consequences of being looked after as a child are well recognised. However, systematic evidence on outcomes for looked-after children beyond the early adult years is currently very limited. Data were used from 360,440 dependent children in the ONS Longitudinal Study (LS) from census years 1971-2001. Participants were followed from their age at baseline until their death or age at right-censoring (31/12/2013). Care status was categorised in three ways: (1) care any time during childhood, (2) in care at ages <10 (yes/no) and (3) in care at ≥10 years (yes/no). We used Cox proportional hazard regression to model hazard of death, fitted separately for each of the three care statuses. In this nationally-representative sample of England and Wales, 3.8% of LS members who had ever resided outside the parental home, and 2.6% who had not, had died by the end of the study. After adjustment for baseline age and census cohort, any care was associated with a 24% (95% confidence interval: 7%-43%) increased hazard of death. When models were fitted with care at <10y and ≥10y, only care ≥10y was associated with increased risk of mortality [age and cohort-adjusted HR: 1.45 (95% CI: 1.17,1.79). For LS members who were in the 1981 and 2001 cohort, reporting any care elevated their hazard of death compared with the 1971 cohort [HR care*1981: 1.47 (1.11,1.94); care*2001: 2.95 (1.64,5.29)]. Decades after they have been in care, children who did not reside with their parents were more likely to die at a younger age than children who had, particularly if they resided in a non-parental home when they were over the age of 10 years.

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Output from project: 1008925

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