In Sickness and in Health: Spouses Can Share Risk for Cardia
Little is known about the risk of subsequent cardiovascular events in individuals whose spouse has a history of cardiovascular diseases. This study assessed whether the spouse’s history of cardiovascular disease is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular events.

Using data on married couples from the Japan Medical Data Center database (April 2008–August 2018), researchers conducted a matched-pair cohort study by matching individuals who had no history of cardiovascular disease and whose spouse had a history of cardiovascular disease at their first health check-up (exposure group) with up to 4 individuals who had no history of cardiovascular disease and whose spouse had no history of cardiovascular disease at their first health check-up (nonexposure group) matched for birth year, sex, and first health check-up year. They compared severe cardiovascular events after the first health check-up between the 2 groups.

Results:
-- Among 236?527 eligible married couples (473?054 spouses), they identified 13?759 individuals in the exposure group who were matched with 55?027 individuals in the nonexposure group.

-- During the mean 95-month observational period from the first health check-up, the percentage of individuals with severe cardiovascular events was higher in the exposure group than in the nonexposure group, with a hazard ratio of 1.48.

-- Analyses stratified by sex showed that the hazard ratios of the exposure to the spouse’s history of cardiovascular disease for severe cardiovascular events in women and men were 1.22 and 1.68, respectively.

Conclusively, this study suggests that a spouse’s history of cardiovascular disease can be a risk factor for subsequent cardiovascular events in men but not in women. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings and to explore effective primary prevention strategies for these individuals.

Source: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.120.007649
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