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Spouses of ICU patients may be at increased risk for cardiac events or hospitalization

Tadahiro Goto, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.; Yuki Miyamoto, M.D.; and Hideo Yasunaga, M.D., Ph.D.

American Heart Association

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Having a spouse in a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) may make a person more likely to have a heart attack or cardiac-related hospitalization themselves within a few weeks of the ICU admission, according to new research published today in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation.

“Spouses of ICU patients should pay attention to their own physical health, especially in terms of cardiovascular disease,” said the study’s senior author Hiroyuki Ohbe, M.D., M.P.H., a Ph.D. student in the department of clinical epidemiology and health economics in the School of Public Health at The University of Tokyo in Japan. “The ICU can be a stressful environment with significant caregiving burdens, and spouses may face tough decisions about continuing or ending life-sustaining treatment.”

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