Diabetes in dogs could serve as early warning to owners
medwireNews: A dog with diabetes may be a novel early warning sign for diabetes risk in its owner, according to a study in the Christmas edition of The BMJ.
During a median 3.4 years’ follow-up of 132,783 dogs and their 175,214 owners, identified in linked pet insurance and national registries, type 2 diabetes incidence rates were 1.3 per 1000 dog–years and 7.7 per 1000 person–years, respectively.
The researchers found that people who had a dog with diabetes had a significant 32% increased risk for developing the condition themselves relative to those whose dogs did not have diabetes, after accounting for the age and sex of pets and owners, the breed group of the pets, and the socioeconomic characteristics of the owners.
The reverse effect was not observed, however, or at least not after adjustment for confounders, which abolished an initial increased risk in dogs whose owner had diabetes.
Beatrice Kennedy (Uppsala University, Sweden) and co-researchers found no concordance between 84,143 cats and their 89,944 owners, “even though the cat diabetes phenotype more closely resembles that of humans with type 2 diabetes than that of dogs with diabetes.”
They suggest that shared exercise patterns in pet owners and their dogs, but not cats, may partly underlie the difference.
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