TitleSpousal suffering and partner's depression and cardiovascular disease: the Cardiovascular Health Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSchulz, R, Beach, SR, Hebert, RS, Martire, LM, Monin, JK, Tompkins, CA, Albert, SM
JournalAm J Geriatr Psychiatry
Volume17
Issue3
Pagination246-54
Date Published2009 Mar
ISSN1545-7214
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Aged, Cardiovascular Diseases, Caregivers, Depression, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Incidence, Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Socioeconomic Factors, Spouses, Stress, Psychological, Surveys and Questionnaires
Abstract

<p><b>OBJECTIVES: </b>To assess the effects of suffering in a spouse on prevalent and incident psychiatric (depression) and physical morbidity (cardiovascular disease [CVD]) in their partner, controlling for known risk factors for depression and CVD.</p><p><b>DESIGN: </b>Descriptive longitudinal study.</p><p><b>PARTICIPANTS: </b>A total of 1,330 older married couples enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study, a large epidemiologic study of the elderly.</p><p><b>MEASUREMENTS: </b>Predictor variables were physical, psychological, and existential/spiritual indicators of suffering. Primary outcomes were prevalent and incident depression and CVD.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>Controlling for known risk factors for depression, the authors found a dose-response relationship between suffering in a spouse and concurrent depression in their partner as well as a relationship between suffering and the partner's future risk for depression. With respect to CVD, and controlling for subclinical CVD at baseline, husbands whose wives reported high levels of suffering also had higher rates of prevalent CVD, but there were no significant associations between wives suffering and husbands incident CVD. There were no associations between husbands' suffering and wives' prevalent or incident CVD.</p><p><b>CONCLUSION: </b>Exposure to spousal suffering is an independent and unique source of distress in married couples that contributes to psychiatric and physical morbidity. More attention should be paid to the interpersonal effects of suffering in married couples and to its role in contributing to morbidity.</p>

DOI10.1097/JGP.0b013e318198775b
Alternate JournalAm J Geriatr Psychiatry
PubMed ID19454851
PubMed Central IDPMC2697395
Grant ListR01 AG015321 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R24 HL076858 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG026010 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
AG 026010 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
MD 000207 / MD / NIMHD NIH HHS / United States
MH 071944 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 NR008272 / NR / NINR NIH HHS / United States
HL 076852 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG015321-10 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R24 HL076852 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-85086 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01HC85086 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
P30 MH071944 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
P30 MH071944-04 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
HL 076858 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
AG 15321 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 NR009573-02 / NR / NINR NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG026010-02 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
NR 08272 / NR / NINR NIH HHS / United States
R24 HL076858-05 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
NR 09573 / NR / NINR NIH HHS / United States
R01 NR009573 / NR / NINR NIH HHS / United States
P60 MD000207 / MD / NIMHD NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-85079 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01HC85079 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG015321-09 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P60 MD000207-019001 / MD / NIMHD NIH HHS / United States
R24 HL076852-05 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 NR008272-05 / NR / NINR NIH HHS / United States