10/01/2002 - News

Married couples may have the same diseases

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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People whose spouses have asthma, high blood pressure or depression are more likely to suffer from these conditions themselves.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham, England, have surveyed over 8,000 married couples between 30 and 74 years of age. They found that the partners of those with asthma, depression and peptic ulcers were 70 per cent more likely to have these problems themselves. There was also a shared risk in high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.

This intriguing link is most likely to arise from the shared martial environment. Couples often have similar diets and lifestyles, and are exposed to the same range of allergens. It might be more useful, where married people are concerned, to target health advice and screening at the couple, rather than the individual. That is, if one partner has high cholesterol, the doctor should consider calling the spouse in for screening too.

Source

British Medical Journal 21st September 2002

Created on: 10/01/2002
Reviewed on: 10/01/2002

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