Varis H, Hagnäs M, Mikkola I, et al. Parental separation and offspring morbidity in adulthood: a descriptive study of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. 2022;50(5):601-612. doi:10.1177/14034948211014296
Parental separation and offspring morbidity in adulthood : a descriptive study of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966
|Author:||Varis, Heidi1,2; Hagnäs, Maria1,2,3; Mikkola, Ilona2;|
1Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Rovaniemi Health Centre, Rovaniemi, Finland
3Endocrine Section, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, and Diabetes and Obesity Unit, Garibaldi Hospital, Catania, Italy
4Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Infrastructure for Population Studies, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6NordLab Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Oulu
7Unit of Primary Care, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
8Healthcare and Social Services of Selänne, Pyhäjärvi, Finland
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2022100561182
|Publish Date:|| 2022-10-05
Aims: Rates of parental separation have increased dramatically in recent decades. We evaluated the association of individuals’ childhood family structure with their somatic health over 46 years of follow-up.
Methods: Data were drawn from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort, an ongoing project in which 12,058 participants born in 1966 have been followed from their 24th gestational week. Based on information supplied at age 14 years, family structure was categorised as ‘single-parent family’ and ‘two-parent family’. The anthropometric information, data from blood samples and medical history were collected from postal questionnaires and clinical examinations routinely performed at the ages of 31 and 46 years.
Results: The study population comprised a total of 10,895 individuals; 85% (n=9253) were offspring of two-parent families and 15% (n=1642) of single-parent families. Type 2 diabetes (P=0.032) or prediabetes (P=0.007), psychoactive drug problems (P<0.001) and sexually transmitted diseases (P<0.001) were more common in the single-parent family group than in the participants from two-parent families. In addition, among men back diseases (P=0.002), and among women hypertension (P=0.003) and ovary infection (P=0.024) were more frequent in individuals affected by parental death than in those from two-parent families.
Conclusions: Our results indicate the association of childhood family structure with offspring morbidity during 46 years’ follow-up. The lifetime morbidity was observed to be higher among offspring from a single-parent family compared to two-parent family offspring. Public and scientific concern about the consequences of parental separation on the offspring’ health exist, therefore support from healthcare professionals and society is warranted.
Scandinavian journal of public health
|Pages:||601 - 612|
|Type of Publication:||
A1 Journal article – refereed
|Field of Science:||
3141 Health care science
The Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 was supported by the University of Oulu Grant no. 65354 and no. 2400069, Oulu University Hospital Grant no. 2/97, 8/97 and no. 24301140, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs Grant no. 23/251/97, 160/97, 190/97, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki Grant no. 54121, Regional Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, Finland Grant no. 50621, 54231 and ERDF European Regional Development Fund Grant no. 539/2010 A31592. Heidi Varis has received funding from the Juho Vainio foundation and the Finnish General Practice foundation.
Varis H, Hagnäs M, Mikkola I, et al. Parental separation and offspring morbidity in adulthood: a descriptive study of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. 2022;50(5):601-612. Copyright © 2021 Author(s). DOI:10.1177/14034948211014296.