WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. adults who are employed full time and care for an elderly or disabled family member suffer poorer health than non-caregivers, a survey indicates.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index tracks U.S. well-being based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 2 to Nov. 24, 2010, with a random sample of 140,853 adults. Of this sample, one-sixth self-identified as caregivers and nearly two-thirds are between the ages of 45 and 64.
The survey indicates caregivers, who represent 16 percent of the full-time workforce, have a physical health index score of 77.4 versus 83 among non-caregivers. Six percent of caregivers employed full time are ages 18-29, 22 percent are ages 30-44, 65 percent are ages 45-64 and 6 percent are age 65 and older.
However, working Americans ages 18-29 suffer the physical effects of caregiving more than any other group, followed closely by those ages 30-44. Those younger than 30 have better physical health than those in other age groups, but this advantage is erased among those who fulfill a caregiving role.
The margin of error is 0.6 percentage points for the overall survey; for caregivers ages 18-29 and age 65 and older, the maximum margin of error is about 3 percentage points.