Relationship between chronic stress and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in elderly Alzheimer's disease caregivers

Roepke, Susan K; Allison, Matthew; Von Känel, Roland; Mausbach, Brent T; Chattillion, Elizabeth A; Harmell, Alexandrea L; Patterson, Thomas L; Dimsdale, Joel E; Mills, Paul J; Ziegler, Michael G; Ancoli-Israel, Sonia; Grant, Igor (2012). Relationship between chronic stress and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in elderly Alzheimer's disease caregivers. Stress - the international journal on the biology of stress, 15(2), pp. 121-9. Reading: Taylor & Francis 10.3109/10253890.2011.596866

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

The stress associated with providing care for a spouse diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease can have adverse effects on cardiovascular health. One potential explanation is that chronic caregiving stress may contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the duration that one has provided care is associated with the degree of atherosclerotic burden, as measured by carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT). One hundred and ten Alzheimer caregivers [mean age 74 ± 8 (SD) years, 69% female] underwent in-home assessment of carotid artery IMT via B-mode ultrasonography. Data regarding medical history, blood pressure, and multiple indicators of caregiving stress were also collected. Multiple regression indicated that duration of care was positively associated with IMT measured in the internal/bifurcation segments of the carotid artery (β = 0.202, p = 0.044) independent of risk factors such as age, gender, body mass index, smoking history, sleep quality, hypertension status, and caregiving stressors. Duration of care was positively associated with IMT in the common carotid artery, but the relationship was not significant. These findings provide more evidence of the link between chronic caregiving stress and cardiovascular disease and indicate that enduring the experience of caregiving over a period of years might be associated with atherosclerotic burden.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology > Centre of Competence for Psychosomatic Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

von Känel, Roland




Taylor & Francis




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:23

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 21:02

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 213269)

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback