Luxembourg [Luxembourg], February 9
According to a study published online in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, people who live with a partner have a higher possibility of being healthy in terms of keeping lower blood sugar levels, regardless of how amicable or combative their relationship is.
According to researchers, having a spouse or cohabiting partner may be a significant relationship and source of social support and/or strain for persons in their mid to late-life health.
Previous studies have suggested there are health benefits from marriage and/or cohabiting, particularly for older adults. There are also various studies that have concluded that type 2 diabetes risk is associated with a number of social health dimensions including social isolation, loneliness, living arrangements, social support, and social network size.
However, the effects of each specific social health dimension are complex, so a team of researchers from Luxembourg and Canada set out to investigate if there was an association between marital status and marital quality with average glycemic levels in older adults.
They used biomarker data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) – a population-based sample of adults aged 50 years and older and their partners, who live in England, from whom data are collected every second year, with biomarker data collected every other wave.
The data used for the study was on 3,335 adults aged 50 to 89 years old without previously diagnosed diabetes over a period from 2004 to 2013.
The sample was people without pre-existing diabetesbetween the ages of 50 and 89 years in wave 2 (2004-05) – when biomarker data were first available in ELSA. Pre-existing diabetes was determined by self-reporting.
Participants were invited to have a nurse visit following the main interview in waves 2 (2004-05), 4 (2008-09) and 6 (2012-13) and blood samples were taken to measure their HbA1c (average glycemic or blood glucose) levels.