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Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 497–506 | Cite as

Marital quality, depressive symptoms, and the metabolic syndrome: a couples structural model

  • Nancy J. M. Henry
  • Timothy W. Smith
  • Jonathan Butner
  • Cynthia A. Berg
  • Kelsey K. Sewell
  • Bert N. Uchino
Article

Abstract

The indirect association of marital quality with metabolic syndrome (MetS) through depressive symptoms was examined in 301 middle-aged and older couples. MetS components (i.e., waist circumference, blood pressure, blood draws to assess triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and fasting glucose) were assessed following a 12-h fast, and were treated as a continuous latent variable for analyses. In structural equation modeling of this indirect effect, overall model fit was good, and husbands’ and wives’ marital quality was associated with MetS only through depressive symptoms. Joint tests of the parameters indicated that gender did not moderate this association. The best fitting, most parsimonious model, after nested model comparisons, was one in which husbands’ and wives’ indirect paths were equated. Overall, marital quality was related to MetS through its relationship to depressive symptoms for men and women. Associations of marital quality and depression with MetS may overlap, and couple-based approaches to psychosocial risk factors for cardiovascular disease may be useful in future research.

Keywords

Metabolic syndrome Marital quality Depression 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Supported by NIH Grant No. AG018903 awarded to Timothy W. Smith.

Conflict of interest

Nancy J.M. Henry, Timothy W. Smith, Jonathan Butner, Cynthia A. Berg, Kelsey K. Sewell, and Bert N. Uchino declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights and Informed Consent

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Utah Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy J. M. Henry
    • 1
  • Timothy W. Smith
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jonathan Butner
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cynthia A. Berg
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kelsey K. Sewell
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bert N. Uchino
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University Health CareUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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