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Am J Cardiol. 2006 Oct 15;98(8):1069-72. Epub 2006 Aug 28.

Effect of marital quality on eight-year survival of patients with heart failure.

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1
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA. michaelr@u.arizona.edu

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that psychosocial factors such as self-efficacy, psychological distress, perceived social support, and marital quality have prognostic significance for morbidity and mortality after heart failure. Previously, we reported that interview and observational measures of marital quality obtained from 189 patients with heart failure (139 men and 50 women) and their spouses predicted all-cause patient mortality during the next 4 years, independent of the baseline illness severity (New York Heart Association class). We present additional follow-up results for this sample, with Cox regression analyses showing that a couple-level composite measure of marital quality continued to predict survival during an 8-year period (p <0.001), especially when the patient was a woman, and did so substantially better than individual (patient-level) risk and protective factors, such as psychological distress, hostility, neuroticism, self-efficacy, optimism, and breadth of perceived emotional support. In conclusion, relationship factors may be especially relevant in managing a difficult chronic condition such as heart failure, which makes stringent and complex demands on patients and their families.

PMID:
17027573
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjcard.2006.05.034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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