Does social isolation affect medical doctor visits? New evidence among European older adults
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ABSTRACT: We have used panel data (2004-2015) from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to examine the impact of social isolation on general practitioner health care use. Socio-demographic, health and social isolation measures are analysed. Differences by welfare regimes have been also considered. Using two definitions of social isolation (Alone and Help), we have found that a sizeable proportion of those aged 50 years and older in Europe reported social isolation. Differences by welfare regimes are highlighted. Our findings provide several implications in current debates on the sustainability of welfare states.