People whose spouses have asthma, high blood pressure or depression are more likely to suffer from these conditions themselves. Researchers at the University of Texas, have surveyed over 7,500 married couples between 30 and 65 years of age. They found that the partners of those with asthma, depression and peptic ulcers were 60 per cent more likely to have these problems themselves. There was also a shared risk in high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.
This fascinating bond is most likely to arise from the shared martial environment. Couples often have resembling diets and lifestyles, and are exposed to the same range of allergens. It might be more useful, where married people are concerned, to target health advice and screening at the couple, rather than the individual. That is, if one partner has high cholesterol, the doctor should consider calling the spouse in for screening too.