The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 1093–1101 | Cite as

Partner’s depression and quality of life among older Europeans

  • Marta Pascual-Sáez
  • David Cantarero-PrietoEmail author
  • Carla Blázquez-Fernández
Original Paper


We aim to study among European older adults (after age 50) if partner’s mental health influences the individual’s well-being. A sample of married or with registered partnership couples that live together, from the latest wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is considered. More specifically, we use logistic regressions to determine the impact that partner’s mental health has on an individual well-being. Besides, personal health and socio-demographic characteristics are also analysed. Differences by gender have been also considered. We shed new light on the factors determining well-being. The empirical findings show that there are important spillover effects from individual’s mental health to the well-being of their partners within households (OR = 1.51; 95% C.I 1.43, 1.59). Our results show utility and empathy between couples, regardless of being a man or a woman. Further, once controlled by the individual traditional factors (age, education or labour status), the interdependence of the closest environment is shown. These findings play a very important role in explaining the public policies that consider the social perspective of well-being in general, as well as mental health policies in particular.


Quality of life Oldest people Partner’s health SHARE Logistic regressions 

JEL classification

I10 I12 I31 



This paper uses data from SHARE Waves 1, 2, 3 (SHARELIFE), 4, 5 and 6 (DOIs:,,,,,, see Börsch-Supan et al. (2013) for methodological details. (1).

The SHARE data collection has been primarily funded by the European Commission through FP5 (QLK6-CT-2001-00360), FP6 (SHARE-I3: RII-CT-2006-062193, COMPARE: CIT5-CT-2005-028857, SHARELIFE: CIT4-CT-2006-028812) and FP7 (SHARE-PREP: N°211909, SHARE-LEAP: N°227822, SHARE M4: N°261982). Additional funding from the German Ministry of Education and Research, the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, the U.S. National Institute on Aging (U01_AG09740-13S2, P01_AG005842, P01_AG08291, P30_AG12815, R21_AG025169, Y1-AG-4553-01, IAG_BSR06-11, OGHA_04-064, HHSN271201300071C) and from various national funding sources is gratefully acknowledged (see

This paper uses data from the generated easySHARE data set (, see Gruber et al. (2014) for methodological details. The easySHARE release 6.1.1 is based on SHARE Waves 1, 2, 3 (SHARELIFE), 4, 5 and 6 (DOIs:,,,,,

Author's contribution

All the authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript and read and approved the final manuscript.


Not applicable.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Ethics approval is not required for this paper, since we did not collect data with personal information. The paper is the result of a research carried on independently by the authors. No plagiarism and no conflict of interest can be addressed to this research.

Data availability

All data can be obtained by contacting the corresponding author.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta Pascual-Sáez
    • 1
  • David Cantarero-Prieto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carla Blázquez-Fernández
    • 1
  1. 1.Group of Health Economics and Health Service Management, Department of EconomicsThe University of Cantabria—IDIVALSantanderSpain

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