couples, older adults, health, cardiovascular disease, affective communication


The American Heart Association (Go et al., 2013) estimated that about 2,150 Americans die each day from cardiovascular disease (CVD). For those 65 years of age or older, the total cost of heart related services in 2009 was $121.2 billion (Go et al., 2013). Many people live with the chronic conditions of cardiovascular disease (Petersen et al., 2005). Researchers have identified the genetic, medical, and lifestyle habits of those with CVD, yet there is a dearth of literature focusing on the relational/social aspects of cardiovascular disease and how such factors are associated with the risk, presentation, and maintenance of cardiovascular illness. Considering that men have a higher lifetime risk for developing CVD than women (51.7% to 39.2%; Roger et al., 2012), the purpose of this study was to compare various aspects of the couple relationship among and between couples with a husband who reports CVD and couples in which neither report CVD.

Original Publication Citation

Novak, J., Sandberg, J.G., & Harper, J.M. (2014). Older couples with and without cardiovascular disease: Testing associations between and among affective communication, marital satisfaction, physical and mental health. Families, Systems, and Health, 32(2), 186-197.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Family, Systems, and Health




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor