Heart disease often comes in pairs, spouse studies show

By Ernie Mundell and Robert Preidt Health Day Reporters

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 (HealthDay News)

Couples share a lot, but heart disease is not on the list of any couple. However, according to a new study from China, if your spouse has heart disease, you may also be at high risk for heart disease.

Cohabitation can often mean sharing unhealthy habits, the lead author of the study explained.

“We found that the risk of cardiovascular disease in an individual is related to the health and lifestyle of the wife or husband,” said Chi Wang, a researcher at the Center for Cardiac Health Research in Beijing.

Wang et al. Believe that the findings, which came from a survey conducted in China, probably apply to the rest of the world.

One US expert agreed.

Dr. Michael Goifman, director of clinical cardiology at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in New York City, said, “The results of this study show that cardiovascular disease is affected by both genetic and environmental factors. Is not surprising. “

“We can infer that couples tend to share many environmental factors, such as where they live and what they eat. If one smokes, the other may be exposed to at least indirect smoking. “He said.

In a new study, Wang’s group surveyed more than 5,000 heterosexual couples aged 45 and over living in seven regions of China from 2014 to 2016. They were asked about their health, lifestyle and risk factors for heart disease.

Studies have shown that people whose spouse had heart disease were more than twice as likely to have heart disease as those whose spouse did not have heart disease.

The association between having a spouse with heart disease and one’s own risk was particularly strong in men. The study found that 28% of men with heart disease also had heart disease, compared to 12.8% of men whose wives did not have heart disease.

Men were at greatest risk of heart disease if their wives had a history of stroke, obesity, or smoking.

The prominent role women play in family diets may help explain gender-based findings, the researchers said.

The risk of heart disease was 21% in women whose husbands had heart disease, compared to 9% in women whose husbands did not have heart disease. The risk of heart disease was highest in women whose husband had a history of stroke.

The study will be presented on May 17th at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Annual Meeting (effectively this year).

“In addition to sharing lifestyle factors and socio-economic environment, our study suggests that the stress of caring for a spouse with cardiovascular disease may contribute to increased cardiovascular risk. “We are,” Wang said in an ACC news release. “Our findings show that caregiver health and spouse health in the community and primary care environment need to be monitored.”

Goifman said sharing unhealthy habits can cause heart disease in couples, but vice versa.

A new study may “encourage couples to engage in healthier behaviors, including diet and exercise,” to prevent or reverse heart disease, he said.

The findings were presented at a medical conference and should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

For more information

The National Institute of Cardiopulmonary Blood provides a guide to a healthy heart.

Source: Michael Goyfman MD, Director, Clinical Cardiology, Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, New York City. American College of Cardiology, News Release, May 5, 2021

Copyright © 2021 Health Day. all rights reserved.


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