3. Obese Wives Also can be a Reason for Diabetes, Experts say

The first ever sex-specific study from Aarhus University in Denmark, which investigated the effect of spousal obesity shows that men are more likely to develop diabetes if their wife is obese, but women living with overweight men are not at greater risk. Husbands were 21 per cent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, mainly because they share their wifes’ poor eating and exercising habits.

However, the scientists behind the study could not explain this contradiction. They are now calling for men aged 50 and over living with obese women to be screened for disease, which currently affects more than 3.4 million adults in England.

Presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting, the research also found evidence that people over 55 having a partner with diabetes tended to be more obese than peers without one. People who are obese or have a family history of type2 diabetes are already known to have a much higher risk of the disease.

For the study, the researchers selected 3,650 men and 3,478 women aged 50 or older from a nationally representative sample.The participants were interviewed every two and a half years between 1998 and 2015, and the new case rate for type2 diabetes was 12.6 per 1000 people per year among men and 8.6 among women.

In a further study, the research team examined in 7187 men and women, whether the development of obesity with age was different for people with and without a spouse having type 2 diabetes. They found that in people over 55, individuals living with a spouse with type two diabetes had much higher levels of obesity compared to those with no spousal diabetes.

"This is the first study investigating the sex-specific effect of spousal obesity on diabetes risk,” said Dr Adam Hulman, who led the research."Our results indicate that on finding obesity in a person, screening of their spouse for diabetes may be justified. Recognizing shared risk between spouses may improve diabetes detection and motivate couples to increase collaborative efforts to eat more healthily and boost their activity levels.” he added.

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