(CTN News) – A recently published study has revealed that couples who are happily married are at a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
This is regardless of whether or not they are happy together.
According to the report – which builds on previous studies that have confirmed that happy marriages are linked to better health – single people over the age of 50 are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who are married.
The University of Luxembourg and the University of Ottawa, both in Canada, have analyzed data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.
This study is based on 3,335 adults who are aged 50 to 89 and did not have diabetes at the beginning of the study.
Across the board, our results suggested that HbA1c levels were inversely related to marital/cohabiting relationships. This was regardless of the dimensions of spousal support or strain between them, the researchers concluded in the study.
In the same vein, these relationships appeared to provide protection against the development of pre-diabetes in those with HbA1c levels above the pre-diabetes threshold.”
According to the study, 76 per cent of the people in the analysis who did not develop type 2 diabetes were married or living together with someone who did not have type 2 diabetes.
In order for older adults to experience the loss of a marital/cohabiting relationship through divorce or bereavement, as well as to dismantle negative stereotypes about romantic relationships during later life, it is imperative that they receive increased support.
Katherine Ford, the lead researcher on the study, is quoted in The Guardian as stating that “health risks, specifically deteriorating glycemic regulation, are associated with marital transitions in older adults.
This may provide a starting point for addressing health risks.
The study indicates that the presence of a relationship was more significantly associated with blood glucose levels than whether the relationship was strained.
This is despite the fact that neither the nature nor the quality of the relationship had an effect on the average levels of blood glucose.