People who live with a spouse are associated with higher odds of keeping blood sugar levels within baseline values, regardless of relationship harmony.
This curious result emerges from a study, published in the British Medical Journal Open Diabetes Research & Care, conducted by scientists at the University of Luxembourg.
The team, led by Katherine Ford, used biomarker data collected from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA), a project involving English adults aged 50 and older. The researchers explain that the presence of a partner or spouse in the home is an important source of social support, especially after passing middle age.
Previous studies have highlighted the health benefits of marriage and cohabitation. Several papers have also suggested that the risk of type 2 diabetes is found to be more associated with a number of socially related factors, such as isolation, loneliness, living conditions, and the size of the social network.
In this analysis, experts evaluated information on 3,335 adults aged 50 to 89 years. Scientists monitored the rate of diabetes occurrence in the participants, who provided blood samples during the survey period. The experts then distinguished those who were married or cohabiting from those who lived alone, and also assessed relationship-related support and tension.