In the Journals

Incident diabetes in fathers predicted by gestational diabetes in partners

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July 7, 2015

The increased risk for type 2 diabetes signaled by gestational diabetes in mothers also is present in fathers, according to recent research published in Diabetes Care.

According to the researchers, this is the first study to explore a possible link between gestational diabetes in mothers and diabetes incidence in fathers.

In a retrospective cohort study, Kaberi Dasgupta, MD, MSc, FRCPC, of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, and colleagues randomly selected singleton live births from 1990 to 2007 with two or more diagnostic codes for gestational diabetes in mothers and matched controls without gestational diabetes from health administrative, birth and death registry data. Researchers sought to identify fathers diagnosed with type 2 diabetes from the time of the mother’s postdelivery discharge from the hospital to the father’s departure from Quebec, death or end of the study period (March 31, 2012).

Overall, 70,890 fathers were evaluated (50% with partners with gestational diabetes). Incident diabetes was greater among men with partners with gestational diabetes (4.01 per 1,000 person-years) compared with men whose partners did not have gestational diabetes (3.03 per 1,000 person-years). Incident diabetes was 33% greater in men with partners with gestational diabetes compared with men whose partners did not have gestational diabetes (HR = 1.33; 95% CI, 1.24-1.43).

“In conclusion, [gestational diabetes] in mothers signals incident diabetes in fathers,” the researchers wrote. “This is partly mediated by shared deprivation level and ethnocultural background. [Gestational diabetes] may be leveraged as a tool to enhance diabetes detection and prevention in fathers.” – by Amber Cox

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.