Diabetes

Updated 24 February 2017

Marriage may help type 2 diabetics keep weight off

Type 2 diabetic men who lived with their spouses were also less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome, a combination of related factors including high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

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Spouses may be good for more than just love and companionship: A new study suggests married people with type 2 diabetes are less likely to be overweight than single people with the blood sugar disease.

Metabolic syndrome

The researchers found that diabetic men who lived with their spouses were also less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome, a combination of related factors including high blood pressure and high blood sugar that boost the risk of heart disease and stroke.

For the study, Japanese researchers examined the medical records of 270 patients with type 2 diabetes from 2010 to 2016. The group included 180 married patients (109 men, 71 women) who were living with their spouses, and 90 single patients (46 men and 44 women).

Read: New diabetes drug approved only for weight loss

The married people had a lower average body mass index (24.5) than the single people (26.5). The index is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.

Compared with singles, married people also had lower levels of HbA1c, a measurement of blood sugar control (7.3 percent versus 7 percent, respectively); a lower number is better. In addition, married people had lower rates of metabolic syndrome (54 percent) compared with single people (68 percent), the findings showed.

Women unaffected

After adjusting the statistics to compensate for factors such as the ages and genders of the study participants, the researchers found that the married people were 50 percent less likely to be overweight. The difference between the genders wasn't considered big enough to be significant.

Read: 8 things you need to know about diabetes

For married men, the risk of metabolic syndrome was 58 percent lower than for single men. But the researchers didn't find evidence of a connection between marital status and metabolic syndrome in women.

The study was conducted by Dr Yoshinobu Kondo and colleagues at Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine and Chigasaki Municipal Hospital. The findings were presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting in Munich, Germany.

Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Read more:

What is diabetes?

Symptoms of diabetes

Causes of diabetes

 

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Diabetes expert

Dr. May currently works as a fulltime endocrinologist and has been in private practice since 2004. He has a variety of interests, predominantly obesity and diabetes, but also sees patients with osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, men's health disorders, pituitary and adrenal disorders, polycystic ovaries, and disorders of growth. He is a leading member of several obesity and diabetes societies and runs a trial centre for new drugs.

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