Obese wives may up men’s diabetes risk

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London: Is your wife overweight? According to a study, it can substantially increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, especially in middle age — but women with an obese husband have no additional risk.

The findings showed that for every 5 kg/m2 higher BMI in wife, the husband’s Type 2 diabetes risk was 21 per cent higher, when accounting for the man’s own BMI.

“Having an obese wife increases a man’s risk of diabetes over and above the effect of his own obesity level, while among women, having an obese husband gives no additional diabetes risk beyond that of her own obesity level,” said Adam Hulman from Aarhus University in Denmark.

“Our results indicate that on finding obesity in a person, screening of their spouse for diabetes may be justified,” Hulman added.

The research, presented at the 2017 European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, also suggests that people over 55 with a spouse with Type 2 diabetes tend to be more obese than their peers without a diabetic partner.

Obesity or Type 2 diabetes in one partner could lead to Type 2 diabetes in the other due to the many risk behaviours that lead to diabetes shared by couples, such as poor eating habits and little physical activity, the researchers said.

“Recognising shared risk between spouses may improve diabetes detection and motivate couples to increase collaborative efforts to eat more healthily and boost their activity levels,” Hulman said.

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