According to new studies, if your dog has diabetes, you are actually more likely to develop it as well. Interestingly enough, if you have a diabetic cat, that same correlation doesn’t seem to take place.
In the past, researchers have studied the relationship between obesity in dogs and their parents, and they found that obese dogs are more likely to have obese parents. This relationship isn’t news at all, but until now, diabetes wasn’t really talked about.
This new study was conducted by researchers at Uppsala University, who collaborated with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Karolinska Institute, and the University of Liverpool. The study was published in the BMJ. They took data from a Swedish veterinary insurance register and combined it with data from some Swedish population and health registers.
Using this information, they managed to match 175,000 parents with their dogs and 90,000 parents with their cats. All the people in the studies were middle-aged or older, and the researchers followed them for six years to see if they get diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
They found that if your dog has diabetes, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by up to 38%. But this relationship couldn’t be explained by factors such as age, sex, socioeconomic conditions, or dog breed. And this relationship doesn’t exist between cats and their parents.
The researchers think that this relationship is due to physical activity patterns or even dietary habits. If that’s the case, that explains why this risk doesn’t exist for cats and their parents. But as they don’t have access to lifestyle information, the researchers weren’t able to demonstrate this theory.