The Strength of Family Ties: A Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression of Self-Reported Social Support and Mortality

Eran Shor, McGill University
David Roelfs, University of Louisville

Perceived social support has long been recognized as associated with better health and longevity. However, important factors that may moderate this relationship have not been sufficiently explored. The authors used meta-analyses and meta-regressions to examine 178 all-cause mortality risk estimates from 50 publications, providing data on more than 100,000 persons. The mean hazard ratio (HR) for mortality among those with lower levels of perceived social support was 1.11 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.05, 1.17) among multivariate-adjusted HRs. Meta-regressions suggest that support from family members was more beneficial than support provided by friends, and that a moderate level of support may be enough to achieve positive results. The results also show that the HR increases with age, but no substantial difference was found between men and women in the magnitude of the risk.

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Presented in Poster Session 7