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Those Caring for a Spouse with Dementia More Likely to Develop Dementia Themselves

Posted May 07 2010 5:21am
I have spoken about the affects of care giving on caregivers, the medical and emotional toll and even the fact that many caregivers die before the one they are taking care of dies. So now comes this study from Utah State University that shows that people who care for a spouse with dementia are six times more likely to develop dementia themselves than spouses of people without dementia.

Researchers followed 1,221 married couples for 12 years to determine the effects of dementia on a spousal caregiver. During the study, 125 husbands, 70 wives and 30 couples developed dementia. After making some statistical adjustments, researchers determined that men are 11.9 times more likely to develop dementia while caring for a wife with dementia. Women are 3.7 times more likely to develop dementia when caring for their spouse. Having a spouse with dementia is associated with a sixfold risk for dementia.

The study will appear in the May edition of the Journal of The American Geriatrics Society .
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