Multimorbidity Patterns in Aging Couples: Longitudinal Associations with Functional Disability

Courtney Allyn Polenick
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Medical School


Using data from ten waves (1996 to 2014) of the Health and Retirement Studies, this study examines patterns of multi-morbidity both within and between spouses, focusing on concordance in the management activities required by multiple conditions.


  • Polenick, C & Birditt K. 2018. Multi-morbidity patterns in Aging Couples: Longitudinal Associations with Functional Disability. 1st annual MiCDA Pilot Project Symposium. May 7, 2018, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • Polenick, C. A., Birditt, K. S., & Kales, H. C. 2018. Chronic health conditions, depressive symptoms, and functional disability in aging couples. Poster presented at the 126th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. August 2018, San Francisco, CA.
  • National Institutes on Aging. R03AG057838. Multimorbidity patterns in middle-aged and older couples: Implications for psychological well-being and health behaviors. PI: C. Polenick
  • Polenick CA, Birditt KS, Turkelson A, Kales HC. Individual-Level and Couple-Level Discordant Chronic Conditions: Longitudinal Links to Functional Disability. Ann Behav Med. 2020 Jun 12;54(7):455-469. doi: 10.1093/abm/kaz061. PMID: 31858110; PMCID: PMC7291341.