Partners affect their health, mostly negatively


In good and bad times: with this promise, many people manifest their cooperation and marry, especially with the hope of good things. But apparently pretty bad habits are being adopted, at least as far as health is concerned. In nearly 80% of relationships, partners adopt unhealthy habits such as a poor diet or poor exercise. This emerges from a study by US researchers published Monday in the journal “JAMA Network Open”.

As a result, negative behavioral patterns of spouses or partners in particular are closely related and impact health. “We know a lot about cardiovascular risk factors for individuals, but not couples,” said study author Samia Mora, professor of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, explaining the rationale for the analysis. The cardiovascular specialist would have expected common risk factors when examining more than 5,000 couples, but it was no surprise that the vast majority shared cardiovascular risks.

Living together, similar risk factors

Samia Mora and her colleagues came to this conclusion after examining the data of employees of the American company “Quest Diagnostics”. The company offers its employees a voluntary health assessment program. The researchers analyzed data from 5,364 couples who started the program between October 2014 and August 2015. The scientists first analyzed how well or badly individuals live. The couples were considered at a later stage.

“Life’s Simple Seven” (LS7) from the American Heart Association (loosely translated: Seven Simple Rules for Healthy Living) served as the defining framework. LS7 includes smoking status, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, points for healthy eating, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and fasting glucose.

Evaluation of questionnaires, examinations and laboratory tests showed that more than half of all participants fell into the highest category, for example, had never smoked or had good cholesterol levels. But more than a quarter of people had low scores in the BMI, physical activity, and cardiovascular health categories. Only twelve percent of people fell into the top category for cardiovascular health.

A model: health can also be improved

When both people in a couple were considered together, more than half of the couples shared all LS7 risk factors as well as the risk of cardiovascular disease. For 79% of the couples, both individuals were not in the ideal cardiovascular health category. This is mainly due to an unhealthy diet and insufficient exercise, the researchers write. And in the process, people in a long-term relationship evidently got closer to each other.

But there is also much more to it than adopting bad habits. If a partner quit smoking, lost weight, or exercised more, they were more likely to do so too. But overall, the couples’ health remained relatively unchanged over the five-year study period, the study says.

“Our data suggests that risk factors and behaviors for couples should be followed together,” said Samia Mora. “Instead of thinking about interventions for individuals, it may be useful to think about interventions for couples or entire families”. It is also important for people to think about how their behavior can affect their partner’s health their own health could also help improve the health of the love of life, which would certainly lead to longer good times and certainly to last longer. long.


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