Concordance in chronic disease status has been observed within couples. In urban India and Pakistan, little is known about couple concordance in diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia and associated socioeconomic characteristics and modifiable risk factors.
We analysed cross-sectional data from 2548 couples from the Centre for cArdio-metabolic Risk Reduction in South Asia cohort in Chennai, Delhi and Karachi. We estimated couple concordance in presence of ≥1 of diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia (positive concordance: both spouses (W+H+); negative concordance: neither spouse (W–H–); discordant wife: only wife (W+H–); or discordant husband: only husband (W–H+)). We assessed associations of five socioeconomic and household characteristics, and six modifiable risk factors with couple concordance using multinomial logistic regression models with couples as the unit of analysis (reference: W–H–).
Of the couples, 59.4% (95% CI 57.4% to 61.3%) were concordant in chronic conditions (W+H+: 29.2% (95% CI 27.4% to 31.0%); W–H–: 30.2% (95% CI 28.4%– to 32.0%)); and 40.6% (95% CI 38.7% to 42.6%) discordant (W+H–: 13.1% (95% CI 11.8% to 14.4%); W–H+: 27.6% (95% CI 25.9% to 29.4%)). Compared with couples with no conditions (W–H–), couples had higher relative odds of both having at least one condition if they had higher versus lower levels of: income (OR 2.03 (95% CI 1.47 to 2.80)), wealth (OR 2.66 (95% CI 1.98 to 3.58)) and education (wives’ education: OR 1.92 (95% CI 1.29 to 2.86); husbands’ education: OR 2.98 (95% CI 1.92 to 4.66)) or weight status (overweight or obesity in both spouses ORs 7.17 (95% CI 4.99 to 10.30)).
Positive couple concordance in major chronic conditions is high in urban India and Pakistan, especially among couples with relatively higher socioeconomic position. This suggests that prevention and management focusing on couples at high risk for concordant chronic conditions may be effective and more so in higher socioeconomic groups.