Background. There is discrepancy in findings on spousal concordance for major depression. Here we report the risk of depression and its determinants in spouses of persons with or without depression, taking into account several known risk factors for major depression.
Methods. A random sample of non-institutionalized Finnish individual aged 15–75 years was interviewed in the 1996 National Health Care Survey. The sample included 1708 male–female spouse pairs. Major depressive episode (MDE) during the last 12 months was assessed using the Short Form of the University of Michigan version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (the UM-CIDI Short Form). Risk factors were assessed in the same interview.
Results. Factors associating with MDE were spouse's MDE, own alcohol intoxication at least once a week and own chronic medical conditions. In addition, there was a strong association between female's current smoking and male's MDE, independently of other risk factors and spousal MDE. The association of MDE with spouses's MDE was not affected by taking into account other assessed risk factors (own or spouse's).
Conclusions. The results indicate elevated spouse concordance for MDE independent of the risk factors assessed in the present study.