The rising relative risk of mortality for singles: Meta-analysis and meta-regression

David J. Roelfs, Eran Shor, Rachel Kalish, Tamar Yogev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Never-married persons (singles) constitute a growing demographic group; yet, the magnitude of the all-cause relative mortality risk for nonelderly singles is not known and important moderating factors have not been explored. The authors used meta-analysis to examine 641 risk estimates from 95 publications that provided data on more than 500 million persons. The comparison group consisted of currently married individuals. The mean hazard ratio for mortality was 1.24 (95% confidence interval: 1.19, 1.30) among multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios with a high subjective quality rating. Meta-regressions showed that hazard ratios have been modestly increasing over time for both genders, but have done so somewhat more rapidly for women. The results also showed that the hazard ratio decreased with age and that study quality has an important relation to hazard ratio magnitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-389
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Meta-analysis
  • mortality
  • single person

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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