Skip to content

Married Couples Are More Likely To Reduce The Risk Of Diabetes In A Study Found

The study of people over 50 found husbands and wives had lower blood sugar, but being married may reduce risk of diabetes.

Being married reduces the risk of diabetes, according to new research.

A spouse spurs people on to look after themselves better, scientists said.

The study of people over 50 found husbands and wives had lower blood sugar.

A man and a woman marrying to tie the knot and exchanging vows. A new study shows that marriage can reduce the risk of diabetes with lower blood sugar levels. DEESHA CHANDRA/SWNS TALKER

Overall, glucose levels fell by 0.21 percent – a significant improvement compared to peers single through choice, bereavement or divorce.

Corresponding author Dr. Katherine Ford of the University of Luxembourg, said: “To contextualize our result, other work has suggested a decrease of 0.2% in the population average value would decrease excess mortality by 25%.”

The phenomenon applied regardless of whether the relationship was harmonious or acrimonious.

Simply living with someone was enough to gain the health boost, explained the international team.

Dr. Ford said: “We found marital status, unlike marital support or strain, seemed to influence average blood sugar levels in this population at risk for type 2 diabetes.

“Identifying and addressing barriers that impede the formation of romantic partnerships for older adults that wish to pursue these types of relationships may have subsequent benefits.”

The study in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care could help GPs screen vulnerable patients.

Dr. Ford said: “Ageism, stereotypes of ‘asexual’ older adults, the deterioration of physical and mental health and a lack of social opportunities are all cited barriers to dating and social connectedness.”

It is known that marriage can be good for you with couples having lower rates of disease.

Studies have shown married individuals are less likely to suffer from depression and have a lower risk of developing conditions like hypertension or high cholesterol.

The risk of type 2 diabetes, the form linked to unhealthy diets and lack of exercise, has been associated with social isolation, loneliness, living arrangements, social support and social network size.

Dr. Ford and colleagues analyzed data on 3,335 older people from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). They were tracked for a decade and provided regular blood samples.

Respondents were also asked if they had a husband, wife, or partner with whom they lived and asked questions designed to measure the level of social strain and social support within the relationship.

Former talk show host Rosie O’Donnell (R) and her then-longtime girlfriend, Kelli Carpenter (L), greet supporters after a private wedding at City Hall February 26, 2004, in San Francisco, California. Married couples tend to make more health based decisions more often to maintain a healthy lifestyle. JUSTIN SULLIVAN/SWNS TALKER

Information on several factors was also gathered such as details about age, income, employment, smoking, being physically active, depression, body mass index (BMI), and having other social relationship types in their social networks such as children, other immediate family or friends.

About three-quarters were married or cohabiting. Analysis of the data over time also showed people who experienced divorce were more likely to develop pre-diabetes – high blood sugar that can lead to full-blown diabetes.

However, the quality of the relationship did not make a significant difference to the average levels of blood glucose, suggesting that having a supportive or strained relationship was less important than just having a relationship at all.

Dr. Ford said: “Overall, our results suggested marital/cohabitant relationships were inversely related to blood sugar levels regardless of dimensions of spousal support or strain.

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

It’s estimated type 2 diabetes now affects around 4.5 million Britons. The epidemic is being fueled by almost two-in-three adults being overweight or obese.


Produced in association with SWNS Talker.

Recommended from our partners