One Spouse With CVD May Double Risk For Other Lifestyle Factors

Individuals living with a spouse with cardiovascular disease were more than twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease themselves, according to a study being presented at ACC.21.

Researchers surveyed more than 5,000 heterosexual couples over the age of 45 living in seven regions of China from 2014-2016. Participants provided information about their personal health history and that of their spouse, including details about risk factors such as body mass index and blood pressure; lifestyle factors such as physical activity, smoking and alcohol use; and socioeconomic factors. For the study, a history of cardiovascular disease was defined as experiencing a heart attack or stroke or having PCI or CABG.

According to the findings, the relationship between a spouse's history of cardiovascular disease and a person's own risk was especially pronounced in men. Among men whose wives had cardiovascular disease, 28% had cardiovascular disease themselves, compared to 12.8% of men whose wives did not have cardiovascular disease. A man's likelihood of cardiovascular disease was highest if his wife had a history of stroke, obesity or smoking. The researchers said the prominent role of women in determining a family's diet could help explain the findings. Among women whose husbands had cardiovascular disease, 21% had cardiovascular disease themselves, compared to just 9% of women whose husbands did not have cardiovascular disease. A woman's likelihood of cardiovascular disease was highest if her husband had a history of stroke.

"We found that an individual's cardiovascular disease risk is associated with the health status and lifestyle of their wife or husband," said Chi Wang, MPH, a research fellow at Heart Health Research Center in Beijing and the study's lead author. "In addition to sharing lifestyle factors and socioeconomic environment, our study suggests the stress of caring for a spouse with cardiovascular disease may contribute to increased cardiovascular risk."

Because the data came from multiple regions of China representing a wide range of economic and cultural backgrounds, Wang said the results would likely be similar to trends in other middle-income countries around the world.

ACC.21 will take place virtually from May 15-17, with content also available on demand. Learn more and register at Follow ACC.21 news on social media using #ACC21.

Clinical Topics: Cardiac Surgery, Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disease, Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention, Prevention, Aortic Surgery, Diet, Exercise, Smoking

Keywords: ACC Annual Scientific Session, ACC21, ACC International, Cardiovascular Diseases, Body Mass Index, Blood Pressure, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Risk Factors, Diet, Exercise, Socioeconomic Factors, Smoking, Health Status, Stroke, Obesity, Myocardial Infarction, Coronary Artery Bypass

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