Why being married may help prevent Type 2 diabetes

Study found that regardless how happy the relationship is, it's better than having none at all

Loving couple holding hands together. (Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***  na27de-letters-marriage.jpg
Powered by automated translation

New research suggests being married may help to prevent Type 2 diabetes, regardless of whether the relationship is happy.

Health benefits have been linked to happy marriages compared with being single, including a longer life, fewer strokes and heart attacks, less depression and healthier eating.

The new study looked at blood sugar levels in older people in particular, finding that being married or living together helps keep sugar levels under control.

The findings appeared to hold true regardless of whether the relationship was happy or under strain.

Experts from the University of Luxembourg and the University of Ottawa in Canada examined data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing on 3,335 adults aged 50 to 89 who did not have diabetes at the start of the study.

They published their findings in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Food that helps to tackle diabetes - in pictures

The study included data from blood samples that measured HbA1c (average blood glucose) levels.

People were asked if they had a husband, wife, or partner with whom they lived, and quizzed to examine the level of strain and support within the relationship.

The data showed that 76 per cent of people in the analysis were married or living together.

Researchers found that the quality of the relationship did not make a significant difference to the average levels of blood glucose.

That suggested that the quality of relationship was less important than just having a relationship.

Five ways to prevent diabetes - in pictures

“Overall, our results suggested that marital/cohabitating relationships were inversely related to HbA1c levels regardless of dimensions of spousal support or strain," the researchers concluded.

“Likewise, these relationships appeared to have a protective effect against HbA1c levels above the pre-diabetes threshold.”

According to Diabetes UK, more than 4.9 million people in Britain have diabetes.

About 850,000 people are living with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.

Updated: February 06, 2023, 11:30 PM