Toronto: Gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, signals future risk of the disease not only in mothers, but also in fathers, says a new study led by an Indian-origin doctor.
It is already known that those who develop gestational diabetes are seven times as likely to eventually develop Type 2 diabetes in the years following pregnancy.
"This is the first study to demonstrate a link between gestational diabetes in mothers and diabetes incidence in fathers," said lead author of the study, Kaberi Dasgupta, associate professor of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
"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," Dasgupta noted.
For the study, the researchers analysed almost 20 years of data from health administrative, birth and death registry of the Canadian province of Quebec.
The researchers randomly selected live births from 1990 to 2007 with a positive diagnosis for gestational diabetes in mothers and matched controls without gestational diabetes.
Then, they 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.
Overall, 70,890 fathers were evaluated.
"Our analysis suggests that couples share risk partly because of their shared social and cultural environment, which may contribute to health behaviours and attitudes," Dasgupta explained.
The study was published in the journal Diabetes Care.