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Original research
Concordance of hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidaemia in married couples: cross-sectional study using nationwide survey data in Japan
  1. Taeko Watanabe1,2,
  2. Takehiro Sugiyama1,2,3,
  3. Hideto Takahashi2,4,
  4. Haruko Noguchi2,5,
  5. Nanako Tamiya1,2
  1. 1Department of Health Services Research, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
  2. 2Health Services Research and Development Center, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
  3. 3Diabetes and Metabolism Information Center, Research Institute, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
  4. 4National Institute of Public Health, Wako, Saitama, Japan
  5. 5Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Taeko Watanabe; taeko-watanabe{at}


Objective Because married couples have many environmental influences in common, spouses may develop similar diseases. This study aimed to determine the concordance of hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidaemia, which are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, among married couples in Japan.

Research design and methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of married couples who were both aged ≥40 years using the 2016 Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions, which is a Japanese national survey. We first determined the proportions of wives and husbands who were receiving therapy for each of the diseases of interest. We then conducted logistic regression analyses using the wives undergoing therapy for each disease as outcomes and the husbands undergoing therapy for the same disease as the principal exposure, adjusting for covariates.

Results The subjects of the analyses were 86 941 married couples. The wives of male patients were significantly more likely to be receiving therapy for the same disease. Logistic regression revealed that when husbands were undergoing therapy for these diseases their wives had ORs (95% CIs) of 1.79 (1.72–1.86) for hypertension, 1.45 (1.34–1.58) for diabetes, 2.58 (2.41–2.75) for dyslipidaemia and 1.87 (1.80–1.93) for any of these diseases.

Conclusions If men have hypertension, diabetes or dyslipidaemia, their wives were also more susceptible to the same disease. Medical professionals and couples may need to recognise these results and consider couple-based interventions to help the prevention, early detection and treatment of these diseases.

  • primary care
  • diabetes & endocrinology
  • preventive medicine
  • public health
  • social medicine

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  • Contributors TW designed the study, analysed data and wrote the initial draft of the manuscript. TS contributed to analysis and interpretation of data, and assisted in the preparation of the manuscript. HT, HN and NT have contributed to data collection and interpretation, and critically reviewed the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript, and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding This study was supported by a grant-in-aid from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare; Health and Labor Sciences Research Grant, Japan (H28-junkankitou-ippan-009, H30-choju-ippan-007).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Tsukuba (Nos. 1165, 1324).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.