All-cause mortality for cohabiting spouses of stroke survivors: Evidence from Swedish national registries

Josefine Persson, Orla C. Sheehan, Ulf Strömberg, David L. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/objectives: Spousal concordance for cardiovascular risk factors and lifestyle behaviors may affect prevalence rates of diabetes, hypertension, and stroke. Spouses of stroke survivors, therefore, would be expected to have elevated mortality rates, but this has not been established. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether cohabitant spouses of stroke survivors have higher mortality rates compared to a matched reference cohort. Methods: Data for this population-based cohort study were extracted from Swedish national registries from 2010 to 2016. The national sample consisted of 13,049 spouses of first ever stroke survivors and a reference cohort of 51,685 cohabitant individuals from the general population matched by age, gender, and place of residence. Effects on mortality were analyzed using Cox proportional hazard survival analyses. Results: Female and male spouses of stroke survivors were found to have 5-year hazard ratios of death of 1.26 (95% confidence interval 1.17, 1.36) and 1.24 (95% confidence interval 1.16, 1.33), respectively, when compared to the reference cohort. Both female and male spouses had higher mortality from diseases in the circulatory system compared to the reference cohort. Conclusion: Spouses of stroke survivors have higher mortality rates than a matched reference population that persist for a minimum of 5 years. Policy-makers should acknowledge and address the health status of spouses when evaluating and planning the health and social care of stroke survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-442
Number of pages11
JournalTopics in stroke rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • Stroke
  • comorbidities
  • health effects
  • mortality
  • spouse
  • survival analyses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Community and Home Care
  • Clinical Neurology


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