Living and Dying after the End: Is There a Higher Mortality Risk after Bereavement in Argentinian Pensioners?

Octavio Bramajo , University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

This study describes differential mortality for the 2015-2018 period in Argentina between pensioners who lost their partner (those who were bereaved) and those who did not. To do so, we used social security pension records. Since pension coverage in ages above 65 is universal in Argentina (and consists in both a monetary benefit plus a health care plan), almost everyone is included in such records for that matter (more than 14 million person-years). We estimated differentials between a group of pensioners who lost and two groups who did not. Such estimations indicate that survivorship pensions beneficiaries (people who lost their partner), have a standardized mortality ratio 1,2 times higher for males and 1,18 for females than ordinary pension beneficiaries, and slightly higher than non-contributory pensioners as well for both sexes. Being a beneficiary of a survivorship pension indicates that a person has lost their partner. However, it is true that this may implicate other situations: that they may found another partner after bereavement and they still get paid their pension, or that the couple was separated before one of the individuals passed away (but not in a legally binding way). This means that those differences could (or could not) actually be larger, because such factors may give some ‘bereavement bias’. Further analysis should include differentials by pension income, other aspects of socioeconomic status and duration of the benefit, in order to establish a more precise role of bereavement in differential mortality in Argentina.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 16. Family Dynamics and Survival Patterns