Partners of people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to improve their health

Benedict Jephcote
Fri, 13 Jul 2018
Partners of people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to improve their health
The health of people who are in a relationship with someone who has recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is more likely to improve, according to a new study.

The research compared health records of more than 180,000 couples, paying particular attention to those who had a newly diagnosed partner.

Lifestyle quality is one of the key factors in the development of type 2 diabetes and those diagnosed with the condition are guided to manage their condition through improving nutrition and being more active.

Study lead author Julie Schmittdiel who is a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, said: "When a person is diagnosed with diabetes it could be a 'teachable moment' to encourage healthy lifestyles and improve health habits for the whole family, as well as an opportunity to reduce their risk of developing diabetes."

The findings of the study showed the partners of those who had been told they had type 2 diabetes were 50 per cent more likely to participate in a weight management class, when compared to people who were in a relationship with someone who did not have diabetes.

Similarly, those in a relationship with someone with diabetes were also 25 per cent more likely to get medication to help stop smoking.

Ms Schmittdiel added, "This is one of the first studies to look at how other people in a household might be changing their behaviours in response to a partner's diabetes diagnosis.

"We believe our findings highlight the need for a new focus on health risk interventions not just for individuals, but for their families and social networks."

The study, titled 'Influence of a New Diabetes Diagnosis on the Health Behaviours of the Patient's Partner', has been published in the Annals of Family Medicine journal.
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