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Table 1 Descriptive characteristics of study sample

From: Does owning a pet protect older people against loneliness?

  Wave 0 (2001) Wave 2 (2004) Wave 5 (2010)
  All Men Women All Men Women All Men Women
Total N 2,141 946 1,195 5,210 2,272 2,938 5,210 2,272 2,938
Mean age 61.4 60.9 61.8 65.0 64.6 65.3 71.2 70.7 71.6
Pet ownership 3
  Yes (%) 41.1% 41.7% 40.7 NA NA NA 29.2% 29.8% 28.6%
Ownership of house pet:
  Dog (%)1 19.8% 20.3% 19.3% NA NA NA 15.2% 15.6% 14.9%
  Cat (%)1 21.7% 21.7% 21.7% NA NA NA 13.3% 13.8% 12.9%
  Bird (%)1 3.6% 3.7% 3.6% NA NA NA 1.8% 1.7% 1.9%
  Other furry pet (%)1 2.3% 2.3% 2.3% NA NA NA 0.8% 1.0% 0.6%
  Other pet (%)1 3.8% 4.8% 3.1% NA NA NA 2.9% 3.4% 2.5%
Loneliness 3
  Yes (%) NA NA NA 18.1% 14.1% 21.3% 20.6% 16.3% 23.9%
Marital status
  Single/divorced/separated/widowed (%) 31.6% 23.8% 37.9% 32.6% 22.4% 40.5% 36.7% 24.7% 46.0%
Parenthood
  Yes NA NA NA 87.8% 87.2% 88.2% 87.9% 87.3% 88.4%
Social participation 3
  Yes NA NA NA 22.6% 19.9% 24.5% 26.6% 25.1% 27.8%
Close personal relationships 3
  Yes NA NA NA 99.8% 99.8% 99.9% 99.7% 99.6% 99.7%
Working status 3
  Working (%) 46.2% 52.9% 41.0% 33.7% 40.3% 28.6% 18.6% 24.1% 14.4%
Social class
  Managerial/professional 37.1% 45.0% 30.7% 34.3% 42.8% 27.6% 32.6% 40.4% 26.4%
  Intermediate 24.3% 18.4% 29.1% 25.9% 20.0% 30.5% 27.1% 21.2% 31.8%
  Routine/manual 38.6% 36.6% 40.3% 39.9% 37.3% 41.9% 40.3% 38.4% 41.8%
Household income
  1Q (low) NA NA NA 16.5 10.9 20.8 18.6 14.4 21.8
  2Q NA NA NA 17.0 15.3 18.2 21.4 20.3 22.2
  3Q NA NA NA 19.4 19.8 19.1 21.3 21.1 21.5
  4Q NA NA NA 21.0 23.2 19.3 18.7 21.1 17.0
  5Q (high) NA NA NA 24.6 29.3 21.0 17.3 20.9 14.6
Self-rated health 2,3
  Poor 6.7% 7.5% 6.0% 23.0% 21.5% 24.1% 28.0% 26.7% 29.0%
Long standing illness
  Yes – limiting 32.2% 30.8% 33.4% 32.0% 28.8% 34.4% 38.6% 35.8% 40.7%
Immobility 3
  Some difficulty/much difficulty/unable to do test 11.0% 11.3% 10.8% 23.5% 19.7% 26.4% 35.7% 30.7% 39.6%
Hearing difficulties 3
  Yes 6.7% 8.5% 5.3% 4.2% 5.7% 3.1% 5.6% 7.1% 4.5%
Seeing difficulties 3
  Yes 3.4% 3.5% 3.3 2.8% 2.2% 3.3% 4.3% 3.0% 5.2%
  1. 1Some individuals owned more than one pet.
  2. 2In Wave 0 and in waves 1+ different categorization.
  3. 3 Binary variables; we show % of only one category.