Contributor: Elise Vo

Being the spouse of a HF patient is challenging. In a recent study, Dunlay and colleagues explored the link between spousal health and HF patient outcomes. Interestingly, spousal health did not correlate with HF patient death or hospitalization. However, spouse caregivers experienced worse outcomes following the death of their HF partner.

Olmsted County residents were screened for HF between 2002-2012 using ICD-9 codes. 905 patients met study criteria, 586 (65%) males with mean age of 73.3, 96% Caucasian, and average LVEF 47.7%. The spousal characteristics were: 584 (65%) female, mean age of 71, and 96% Caucasian. HF patient charts were reviewed for marriage.