Table 3

Associations between baseline loneliness and health and social care utilisation

Home helpCommunity nurseMeals on wheelsDay centreHospital visitsTime since last saw a GP
IRR (95% CI)IRR (95% CI)IRR (95% CI)IRR (95% CI)IRR (95% CI)Beta (95% CI)
Time1.1 (0.4 to 2.8)2.5 (0.9 to 6.9)1.1 (0.4 to 2.8)0.9 (0.3 to 2.6)1.5 (0.7 to 3.0)0.1 (−0.3 to 0.6)
Loneliness (wave 3)
 Slightly lonely1.3 (0.5 to 3.6)0.6 (0.2 to 2.2)1.9 (0.8 to 4.9)1.6 (0.5 to 5.0)1.3 (0.8 to 2.1) −0.5 (−0.8 to 0.2)
 Lonely2.4 (0.8 to 7.3)1.1 (0.5 to 2.5)2.0 (0.9 to 4.5)1.4 (0.3 to 5.3)1.2 (0.8 to 1.9)−0.1 (−0.5 to 0.3)
Age
 85–890.5 (0.2 to 1.1)0.8 (0.4 to 1.9)0.8 (0.4 to 1.7)1.0 (0.4 to 2.3)0.7 (0.5 to 1.1)0.2 (−0.1 to 0.5)
 90+0.9 (0.2 to 3.9)0.9 (0.3 to 2.6)0.6 (0.1 to 3.6)1.6 (0.1 to 19.9)1.3 (0.6 to 2.9)0.02 (−0.6 to 0.7)
Sex
 Women1.3 (0.5 to 3.2)0.7 (0.3 to 2.0)0.8 (0.4 to 2.0)1.4 (0.6 to 3.4)0.7 (0.4 to 1.1) −0.5 (−0.8 to 0.1)
Physical impairments
 Moderate 2.3 (0.96 to 5.4) 2.2 (0.9 to 5.1)0.6 (0.2 to 1.5)1.6 (0.4 to 5.8)1.3 (0.8 to 2.1)−0.2 (−0.5 to 0.2)
 High 3.9 (1.5 to 10.6) 2.0 (0.8 to 5.1)1.9 (0.8 to 4.6)3.2 (0.7 to 13.6) 2.5 (1.4 to 4.6) −0.3 (−0.7 to 0.1)
Health condition
 ≥31.5 (0.7 to 3.3) 2.4 (1.1 to 5.0) 1.2 (0.6 to 2.5)2.1 (0.7 to 6.5)1.1 (0.7 to 1.7) −0.3 (−0.6 to 0.1)
Depression
 Yes0.6 (0.2 to 1.6)0.6 (0.2 to 1.9)0.5 (0.2 to 1.5) 0.3 (0.1 to 1.0) 1.1 (0.5 to 2.2) −0.4 (−0.8 to 0.1)
Physical functioning
 IADL disability only2.4 (0.9 to 6.4)1.0 (0.3 to 3.2)0.8 (0.3 to 2.6)2.4 (0.9 to 6.3)0.7 (0.4 to 1.2)−0.3 (−0.7 to 0.1)
 IADL and ADL disabilities2.3 (0.9 to 6.2)1.6 (0.6 to 3.9)1.5 (0.6 to 3.7) 2.9 (0.96 to 8.9) 1.0 (0.6 to 1.7)0.1 (−0.2 to 0.4)
Cognition0.9 (0.8 to 1.1)1.0 (0.9 to 1.1)0.9 (0.8 to 1.1)1.0 (0.8 to 1.1)1.0 (0.9 to 1.1)−0.05 (−0.1 to 0.01)
  • Reference groups: not lonely, 80–84 years old, men, no physical impairments, 0–2 chronic diseases, not depressed and not disabled.

  • Bold values indicate 95% confidence intervals.

  • ADL,  activities of daily living; IADL, instrumental  ADL;  IRR, incidence rate ratio.