Spouses of Stroke Survivors Face Health Problems
There's more evidence that caregivers need more care. According to research from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, caregiver spouses of stroke survivors are at an increased risk of mental and physical health problems.
Researchers looked at 248 stroke survivors under the age of 70 and their spouses for seven years and compared them to 245 non-stroke couples. About two-thirds of the spouses of survivors were women, and the average spouse age was 65.
At the end of the seven-year study, the spouses were given a 36-item health-related quality of life questionnaire. The stroke survivors’ spouses scored lower on all general health and mental health fields compared to the non-stroke couples. And, as the stroke patients’ level of disability, brain function and depressive symptoms increased, the caregiver’s quality of life score tended to decline.
These findings, published in the journal Stroke, underscore the effects of chronic stress of caring for a loved one. Chronic stress increases stress hormones and inflammation, which raise the risk of depression and cardiovascular disease.
_This Week's Slice of History: _Taking on DDT: Aug. 29, 1962