Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Previous studies have shown that those who develop gestational diabetes are seven times as likely to eventually develop type 2 diabetes in the years following pregnancy. A new study has revealed that developing gestational diabetes signals future risk of the disease not only in mothers, but also in fathers.
Lead author of the study, Kaberi Dasgupta, associate professor of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, said, "This is the first study to demonstrate a link between gestational diabetes in mothers and diabetes incidence in fathers. We observed that the incident of diabetes was 33% greater in men whose partner has gestational diabetes compared with men whose partners did not have gestational diabetes."
For the study, the research team analyzed almost 20 years of data from health administrative, birth and death registry of the Canadian province of Quebec. They randomly selected live births from 1990 to 2007 with a positive diagnosis for gestational diabetes in mothers and matched controls without gestational diabetes. Then, the researchers identified fathers with type-2 diabetes from the time of the mother's post-delivery discharge from the hospital to the end of the study period on March 31, 2012.
About, 70,890 fathers were evaluated. Dasgupta said, "Our analysis suggests that couples share risk partly because of their shared social and cultural environment, which may contribute to health behaviors and attitudes."
The study was published in Diabetes Care.