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Older adults who reported strain when caring for a spouse with disabilities had increased mortality

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 QUESTION: Do older adults who care for a spouse with disabilities have an increased risk for mortality?


Cohort study with mean follow up of 4.5 years (Caregiver Health Effects Study, part of the Cardiovascular Health Study).


4 communities in the US.


819 older adults (mean age 80 y, age range 66–96 y, 51% women, 90% white) who were living with their spouses. 392 were caregivers of a spouse who had difficulties with ≥1 activity of daily living or instrumental activity of daily living because of physical or health problems or problems with confusion. 427 were non-caregivers (their spouses did not have these difficulties). Participants were drawn from a larger cohort study with inclusion criteria of ≥65 years of age and plans to live in the study area for 3 years. Exclusion criteria were being wheelchair bound in …

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