Korean J Fam Med.  2020 May;41(3):183-188. 10.4082/kjfm.18.0104.

Spousal Concordance regarding Lifestyle Factors and Chronic Diseases among Couples Visiting Primary Care Providers in Korea

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Few studies have been conducted in Korea on concordance regarding chronic diseases and lifestyle factors among couples. We, therefore, evaluated spousal concordance regarding lifestyle factors and chronic diseases among Korean couples.
A total 1,040 participants (520 couples) who visited family physicians were recruited from 22 hospitals. All participants were aged ≥40 years. Participants completed questionnaires on smoking, drinking, physical activity, and irregular eating habits, including skipping breakfast. We estimated the spousal concordance regarding lifestyle factors and chronic diseases using McNemar tests and logistic regression analysis.
The concordance rate was high among couples who shared unhealthy behaviors, such as low physical activity, irregular diet, and skipping breakfast (P<0.05). When cardiovascular risk factors such as overweight (odds ratio [OR], 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14–2.63), hypertension (OR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.23–2.86), or hyperlipidemia (OR, 2.41; 95% CI, 1.60–3.64) were prevalent among husbands, the odds that their wives also had the same risk factors at the same time was significantly high. The odds of being depressed when the spouse was depressed were also significantly high in both men (OR, 5.54; 95% CI, 2.19–13.96) and women (OR, 4.52; 95% CI, 1.77–11.53).
There was a high level of concordance regarding lifestyle factors among couples, which could lead to an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases among couples. In addition, if a spouse has depression, the odds of their partner also having depression was high.


Spouses; Couple; Chronic Disease; Risk Factors; Concordance; Life Style
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