Perceived Stress and Mortality in a Taiwanese Older Adult Population

Sarinnapha Vasunilashorn, Princeton University
Dana A. Glei, Georgetown University
Maxine Weinstein, Georgetown University
Noreen Goldman, Princeton University

Perceived stress has been documented as being associated with a number of outcomes, including negative affect, increased susceptibility to the common cold, and cardiovascular disease; however, the consequences of perceived stress on mortality have received much less attention. This study characterizes the relationship between a summary measure of perceived stress and 8-year mortality in a population of Taiwanese adults aged 54+. We calculate a composite measure based on 8 items pertaining to the health, financial situation, and occupational stress of the respondents and their families. Proportional hazards models are used to determine whether the perceived stress summary measure predicts mortality. Preliminary results suggest that perceptions of stress contribute to differences in survival among older adults: the perceived stress score is positively associated with the probability of dying during the 8-year follow-up period, even when the score excludes questions pertaining to the respondent’s own health.

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Presented in Session 60: Health and Mortality in Developing Countries