A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Luxembourg and the University of Ottawa in Canada reveals that living with a partner, whether happily or unhappily married, protects against type 2 diabetes. The findings, published in the Guardian, show that being in a marital or cohabiting relationship has an inverse relationship with HbA1c levels, which indicate blood glucose levels and are a marker for type 2 diabetes.
The study analyzed data from 3,335 adults aged 50 to 89 who were not diagnosed with diabetes at the beginning of the study. The results showed that 76% of the participants were either married or living with a partner. The nature and quality of the relationship did not affect average blood glucose levels, indicating that just having a relationship was more important than the level of support or strain in the relationship.
The study, which was conducted on 3,335 adults aged 50 to 89 who did not have diabetes at the start of the study, showed that 76% of participants were married or living together. The data showed that the nature and quality of the relationship had little to no effect on the average levels of blood glucose, indicating that having a relationship at all, whether supportive or strained, was more important. The researchers concluded that “marital/cohabitating relationships were inversely related to HbA1c levels regardless of dimensions of spousal support or strain.” They added that these relationships also had a protective effect against HbA1c levels above the pre-diabetes threshold.
Lead author Katherine Ford, from Carleton University in Ottawa, says that increased support for older adults who have lost a partner through divorce or bereavement and the breaking down of negative stereotypes about romantic relationships in later life could help address health risks associated with relationship transitions in older adults. Know more about Type 2 diabetes here.