Evid Based Nurs 3:90 doi:10.1136/ebn.3.3.90
  • Causation

If caring for a spouse with disabilities involved self reported strain, caregiver mortality was increased

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


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


4 communities in the US.


392 caregivers whose spouses had difficulties with ≥1 activity of daily living (ADL) or instrumental activity of daily living (IADL) because of physical or health problems or problems with confusion and 427 non-caregivers whose spouses did not have these difficulties. Mean age was 80 years (range 66–96 y), 51% were women, and 90% were white. Inclusion criteria were age ≥65 y and plans to live in the study area for 3 years. Exclusion criteria were being wheelchair bound at home, inability to attend evaluations, or having cancer treatment. Follow up for mortality was 100%.

Assessment of risk factors

Baseline data were …

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