Spouse's Dementia Increases Your Risk Married caregivers more likely to develop it, says study By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff Posted May 5, 2010 3:31 PM CDT 14 comments Comments Having a spouse with dementia increases your risk of developing it, too, say researchers. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Having a spouse with dementia may put you at great risk for developing it yourself. Partners of people with dementia are six times more likely to suffer mental deterioration, with husbands at greater risk than wives, the Independent reports. The findings come from an analysis of 1,221 married couples performed by researchers from Utah State University. The researchers theorize that the stress of dealing with a lover slipping into dementia plays a role in triggering the condition. "The burden for spouses may be even greater because of close emotional ties to their partner and greater likelihood of fatigue with physical exertion," the scientists said in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.