Dog owners with type II diabetic dogs are more likely to develop the disease themselves

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Obese dog

The connection stated in the title doesn’t apply to cat owners surprisingly. But the study which took place in Sweden tells us that if a pet dog has type II diabetes then it is more likely that the dog’s owner will develop type II diabetes than would otherwise be the case. The study was observational, in other words the researchers don’t know why there is this connection between type II diabetes in dogs and their owners. In fact, to put some numbers on it, they discovered that the increased risk of the dog owner developing type II diabetes was at 38% compared with owning a healthy dog.

Obese dog

Obese dog. Photo: Pixabay.

To use the language of the study, they concluded that their data, “indicated that owners of a dog with diabetes were more likely to develop type II diabetes during follow-up than owners of a dog without diabetes.”

They suggested that if a dog has developed type II diabetes it may be an indicator that their human will develop it and therefore it could be useful in diagnosis and preventative medicine perhaps (my thought). They said that “personal and social economic circumstances of the dog owners” couldn’t explain why there was this connection. They suggested that the reason might be a high-calorie, poor-quality diet, little activity lifestyle and “environmental exposures” might be the reason.

As mentioned, they discovered no shared risk of diabetes between cat owners and their cat companions.

Previous studies have found that dog owners and their dog companions might share behavioural habits such as the level of physical activity which can affect health. Also, “cross-sectional studies” indicate that the storage of fat in body tissue might be linked between dog owners and their pets. In other words the same issues of fat storage in body tissue may be seen amongst dog owners and their dogs. A “cross-sectional study” is one which involves looking at people who differ in one key characteristic at one specific point in time.
Go to the next page for my thoughts in this…

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