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Explaining the Widening Education Gap in Mortality among U.S. White Women

May 30, 2013 Comments off

Explaining the Widening Education Gap in Mortality among U.S. White Women (PDF)

Source: Journal of Health & Social Behavior

Over the past half century the gap in mortality across education levels has grown in the United States, and since the mid-1980s, the growth has been especially pronounced among white women. The reasons for the growth among white women are unclear. We investigated three explanations—socialpsychological factors, economic circumstances, and health behaviors—for the widening education gap in mortality from 1997 to 2006 among white women aged 45 to 84 years using data from the National Health Interview Survey Linked Mortality File (N = 46,744; 4,053 deaths). Little support was found for social-psychological factors, but economic circumstances and health behaviors jointly explained the growing education gap in mortality to statistical nonsignificance. Employment and smoking were the most important individual components. Increasing high school graduation rates, reducing smoking prevalence, and designing work-family policies that help women find and maintain desirable employment may reduce mortality inequalities among women.

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Divorce and Women’s Risk of Health Insurance Loss

November 17, 2012 Comments off

Divorce and Women’s Risk of Health Insurance Loss

Source: Journal of Health & Social Behavior

This article bridges the literatures on the economic consequences of divorce for women with that on marital transitions and health by focusing on women’s health insurance. Using a monthly calendar of marital status and health insurance coverage from 1,442 women in the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we examine how women’s health insurance changes after divorce. Our estimates suggest that roughly 115,000 American women lose private health insurance annually in the months following divorce and that roughly 65,000 of these women become uninsured. The loss of insurance coverage we observe is not just a short-term disruption. Women’s rates of insurance coverage remain depressed for more than two years after divorce. Insurance loss may compound the economic losses women experience after divorce and contribute to as well as compound previously documented health declines following divorce.

See: Divorce costs thousands of women health insurance coverage (EurekAlert!)

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