Gestational Diabetes Puts Dads at Risk for Diabetes, Too

Mothers who develop diabetes during pregnancy, called gestational diabetes, aren't the only ones at risk for developing regular diabetes later on in life.

A large new study from researchers in Quebec found that gestational diabetes can predict future diabetes risk in fathers.

"We observed that the incident of diabetes was 33 percent greater in men whose partner has gestational diabetes, compared with men whose partners did not have gestational diabetes," said Dr. Kaberi Dasgupta, endocrinologist at McGill University Health Centre and lead author of the study.

The study, which analyzed 20 years of data and over 70,000 fathers, is the first to show an association between gestational diabetes in women and the risk of diabetes in fathers, Dasgupta said.

Shared risk for spouses

Results of the study suggest that couples have a shared risk for diabetes, which is partially due to environmental and social factors. Other research, for example, has shown that partners usually have similar levels of physical activity or shared lifestyle habits that may contribute to diabetes risk.

"The study reinforces the findings of our previous study on shared risk for diabetes in spouses, and prior studies indicating that less healthy eating habits and low physical activity could be shared within a household," Dasgupta said.

Based on the findings, gestational diabetes can be used as a starting point from which to educate spouses on prevention strategies, he concluded.

The study is published in Diabetes Care.

Source: McGill University Health Centre
Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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