Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Spouses with Chronic Disease Put Their Partners at Increased Risk

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Spouses with Chronic Disease Put Their Partners at Increased Risk

Article excerpt

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA -- Patients whose spouse has any of a variety of common chronic diseases are themselves at significantly elevated risk of having the same disease, Dr. Julia Hippisley-Cox reported at WONCA 2001, the conference of the World Organization of Family Doctors.

She studied the medical records of roughly 8,700 married heterosexual couples aged 30-74 enrolled in 10 general practices with good-quality computerized patient databases in the Trent area of England.

After adjustment for age, smoking status, and body mass index, logistic regression analysis showed that spouses of patients who carried the diagnosis of depression were at 2.2-fold greater risk of having a diagnosis of depression than were individuals whose mate didn't have that diagnosis recorded, said Dr. HippisleyCox of the University of Nottingham (England).

Similarly, an individual who was married to a patient with peptic ulcer disease was at 2.4-fold greater risk of carrying the same diagnosis than was a person whose spouse didn't have peptic ulcer disease.

Spouses of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and/or asthma, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia were found to be at 40%-70% increased risk of carrying the same diagnosis themselves. …

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