Background: Previous studies observed high concordance of diabetes and hypertension among married or partnered couples globally due to assortative mating and cohabitation. However, whether there is concordance in controlled blood pressure (BP) among couples with diabetes, an important risk factor for micro/macrovascular complications, is unknown.

Methods: Using cross-sectional data from Health and Retirement Study (HRS 2016-17, n = 1749) and its international partner studies from China (CHARLS 2015-16, n = 923) and India (LASI 2017-19, n = 4582), we identified couples (aged 21-97 years) among whom at least one partner had diabetes and both partners had standardized BP measurements. We defined controlled BP as systolic BP < 140 mmHg and diastolic BP < 90 mmHg. We used multiple imputation and survey-weighted modified Poisson regression to study the association of controlled BP between couples for wives and husbands respectively. We adjusted for current medication use, individual and household characteristics. We additionally examined between-country differences in the association.

Results: Our analytic sample consisted of 3802 wives and 4504 husbands with diabetes. The proportion of wives with controlled blood pressure were 76.6% [73.2, 80.1] in the USA, 67.5% [63.3, 71.8] in China and 65.1% [62.6, 67.6] in India. The proportion of husbands with controlled blood pressure were 70.8% [67.4, 74.1] in the USA, 63.6% [58.5, 68.6] in China and 60.0% [57.8, 62.3] in India. Partner’s control of BP was not associated with own controlled BP for wives (prevalence ratio, PR: 1.05 [0.97, 1.14]) and husbands (PR: 1.07 [0.94, 1.21]) with diabetes. Estimates of association were null across all countries. Estimates were similar when restricted to couples (n = 1076) when both partners had diabetes.

Conclusions: Lack of concordance in BP control among couples with diabetes suggest continuation of strategies for individualized management of high blood pressure.


J.Varghese: None. C.Li: None. P.Lu: None.

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