Mortality at older ages and moves in residential and sheltered housing: evidence from the UK

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 15, 2014


Background The study examines the relationship between transitions to residential and sheltered housing and mortality. Past research has focused on housing moves over extended time periods and subsequent mortality. In this paper, annual housing transitions allow the identification of the patterning of housing moves, the duration of stay in each sector and the assessment of the relationship of preceding moves to a heightened risk of dying.

Methods The study uses longitudinal data constructed from pooled observations from the British Household Panel Survey (waves 1993–2008). Records were pooled for all cases where the survey member is 65 years or over and living in private housing at baseline and observed at three consecutive time points, including baseline (N=23 727). Binary logistic regression (death as outcome three waves after baseline) explored the relative strength of different housing transitions, controlling for sociodemographic predictors.

Results (1) Transition to residential housing within the previous 12 months was associated with the highest mortality risk. (2) Results support existing findings showing an interaction between marital status and mortality, whereby unmarried persons were more likely to die. (3) Higher male mortality was observed across all housing transitions.

Conclusions An older person's move to residential housing is associated with a higher risk of mortality within 12 months of the move. Survivors living in residential housing for more than a year, show a similar probability of dying to those living in sheltered housing. Results highlight that it is the type of accommodation that affects an older person's mortality risk, and the length of time they spend there.

Published in

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 68 , p.524 -529






Open Access article



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