Disease concordances amongst marital partners : Not ‘way of life’ or mortality data artifact
Mortality statistics for Great Britain (1979–1980, 1982–1983) for more than 500 occupations and 20 different causes of death were examined. The paper demonstrates that there is clear concordance of cause of death between men and married women which can be linked to the occupation of the male. Various possible explanations are considered including shared social class and way of life and the suggestion that the associations reported are the result of various forms of statistical bias inherent in Standardized Mortality Ratio statistics. It is proposed that the occupation of the male is an important mediator of the disease concordance observed and that this is consistent with a psychosocial hypothesis, although longitudinal empirical research would be required to establish this.