When assessing a patients’ risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, physicians may want to consider expanding their questions about family medical history and lifestyle to include if their spouse has been diagnosed with the disease. A study recently published in BMC Medicine found that partners of individuals with diabetes have a 26 percent increased risk of also developing the condition.
Researchers analyzed results from six selected studies that were conducted in different parts of the world and looked at key outcomes such as age, socioeconomic status, and the way in which diabetes was diagnosed in 75,498 couples.
Most of the studies used in the meta-analysis relied on health records, which may not always accurately record diabetes. Those that used direct blood testing suggested that diabetes risk doubles if your partner has diabetes. They found a strong correlation with pre-diabetes risk.
The study offers more evidence that the lifestyle choices of your friends and family, particularly in your household, influence your health habits. Researchers of the latest study say the findings could help doctors develop strategies to change patient’s health behaviors that involve both partners.