Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: Drs Schulz and Beach1 demonstrate significant variability in mortality
among elderly caregivers. Those reporting physical or emotional strain as
a consequence of caring for a disabled spouse experienced a 63% increase in
mortality over 4 years, compared with noncaregivers. Conversely, caregivers
reporting no strain had a small and statistically nonsignificant mortality
increase, whereas those whose disabled spouses made no care demands showed
an intermediate (also statistically nonsignificant) increase. The authors'
conclusion that these associations are caused by chronic psychological stress,
however, extends beyond their data.
Macleod J. Mortality Among Elderly Caregivers. JAMA. 2000;283(16):2105-2106. doi:10.1001/jama.283.16.2101