"…The study suggests that diseases that are more disabling are more likely to result in disease and death in the caregiving spouse," Christakis says. Spousal illness might also deprive the partner of emotional, economic or other practical support, or might impose stress on the caregiver that may contribute to the risk of death, the investigators theorize….”
The ‘at risk’ nature of caregiving was hammered home to me several years ago when I adjusted some insurance policies. “Spousal Caregiving” was considered more “at risk” behavior than more ballyhooed hazards such as smoking or overweight. The insurance industry had calculated the effect of caregiving on their profit and loss long before medical studies continued to “theorize”. Fortunately, I was not a sky diving caregiver or I would have been uninsurable.
Personally, I guess I'm "immune" from this study's theorizing because, as I've pointed out before, at Patti's urging "in sickness and in health, till death do us part" was excluded from our wedding vows - just in case. ........... Now, our 17 year old daughter would jump all over this as only prooooving her point du jour, "you never listen!" <grin>