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Baby Boomers as Caregivers: Results From the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 44 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, 2015–2017
  • Published Date:

    August 13 2020

  • Source:
    Prev Chronic Dis. 2020; 17
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-439.36 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:
    Introduction Baby boomers, people born from 1946 through 1964, represent a substantial portion of the US population. Generally, baby boomers have more chronic disease and disability than those in the previous generation. Frequently, they also provide informal care to others. The objective of our study was to estimate the prevalence of informal caregiving among baby boomers and compare the health of baby boomer caregivers and noncaregivers. Methods Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2015–2017) for 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, we classified 109,268 baby boomers as caregivers or noncaregivers and compared their general health (poor or fair vs good, very good, or excellent), chronic health conditions, and frequent mental distress (FMD). FMD was defined as 14 days or more of poor mental health in the past month. We used log-binomial regression to calculate prevalence ratios, adjusted for age and sex (aPRs), and to separately estimate aPRs for fair or poor health and FMD or at least one chronic health condition. Results One in 4 baby boomers (24.2%) were caregivers. In adjusted models, male caregivers had a higher prevalence of fair to poor health than noncaregivers (aPR = 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06–1.29; P = .001). More caregivers than noncaregivers had at least 1 chronic health condition (aPR = 1.10, 95% CI, 1.07–1.13; P < .001) and more often had FMD (aPR = 1.39; 95% CI, 1.26–1.53; P < .001). Conclusion Our study showed these caregivers had more chronic health conditions and more often had FMD than noncaregivers. The health of baby boomer caregivers is a public health priority, as these caregivers might need support to maintain their own physical and mental health.
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