Diabetes Forecast

Have Type 2? Your Spouse May Be at Risk

By Miriam E. Tucker , ,

If you have been diagnosed recently with type 2 diabetes, your spouse or live-in partner might also be at risk, a study found. Researchers examined data from more than 3 million members of a large health plan during 2005–2011. Compared with a 0.83 percent diabetes risk among the plan’s overall population, spouses of those diagnosed with diabetes in the prior two years had a 1.71 percent risk—more than double—of developing diabetes themselves. This risk was greater for men than women. The higher diabetes risk in cohabitating people who aren’t biologically related points to the importance of environment (not just genes) and also suggests that spouses can combat the risk by encouraging each other to live more healthful lifestyles.

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