[This abstract first appeared in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT) Volume 1 Issue 5 December 2010].
Caring for a spouse with dementia appears to be associated with an increase in the care giver’s risk of developing dementia. Over 1221 married couples aged 65 or older (mean age husbands 75.7 years, wives 73.1 years) were studied.
There is an increased risk of developing dementia in spouses who care for their partner with dementia. Sex-specific analysis indicates that husbands have the greater increase in risk if their partners were affected, compared with wives of a partner with dementia.
Vitaliano, PP. (2010). Spouses of people with incident dementia are at sixfold increased risk of developing dementia themselves. Evidence-Based Mental Health , 2010, Vol.13(4), p.101. [Epub ahead of print].