Symptoms of depression increase among couples married with one or two chronic illnesses and who need different types of self-care, such as special diets, medicines for heart disease or diabetes, or to reduce the pain of arthritis. This has been evidenced by a study carried out by researchers from the University of Michigan (United States) and published in ‘Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences’.
Now, it is men who have more symptoms of depression when they need different types of personal care from their partners, as experts have found after analyzing between 2006 and 2014 more than 1,110 married couples.
“While less than 10 percent of the women and less than 7 percent of the men in the study had levels of depression symptoms severe enough to suggest a need for treatment, depression is important to consider for older people, doctors, caregivers and adult children,” the researchers have said.
The study focused on conditions that have similar treatment goals focused on reducing cardiovascular risk (diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and heartburn) and those with treatment goals and needs that are different from the other conditions: cancer, arthritis and lung disease.
When one person in the couple had at least one condition with different treatment goals and needs, they were considered to have “discordant” conditions. Also, when a member of one couple had at least one condition that has different treatment goals and needs from the other couple, the couple was considered to have discordant conditions.