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'Married people could maintain healthy blood sugar levels'

Women who are happily married also have reduced levels of psychosocial cardiovascular risk factors, such as anxiety, anger and depression

By Web Desk
February 10, 2023
A groom holding the hand of the bride.— Unsplash
A groom holding the hand of the bride.— Unsplash

New research suggests that marriage, regardless of the quality of the union, may support the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels.

A study published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care reveals that marriage is associated with specific health advantages, giving the phrase "in sickness and in health" a new meaning.

From 2004 to 2013, researchers looked at data from 3,335 participants in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing who were 50 to 89 years old and had never been diagnosed with diabetes.

Every other year, the individuals' data were collected, and every other wave, the biomarker data. Age, income, body mass index, amount of physical activity, smoking, depression, and social interaction are just a few of the variables the researchers obtained data on.

Diabetes-related elevated blood glucose is indicated by high HbA1c levels. The study found that having a spouse was linked to reduced HbA1c test results, which reflect the average blood sugar (glucose) levels during the previous two to three months.

Over 75% of respondents in wave 2 (2004 to 2005) were either married or living together. Participants' HbA1c levels dramatically changed after marital upheavals like divorce.

Relationship quality — whether it was tense or supportive — did not have a big impact on HbA1c.

Because this is an observational study, the cause cannot be determined, the researchers note. They also leave open the possibility that those with poorer health had higher divorce rates.

There are several other health advantages of marriage, according to prior research. For instance, a 2016 English study found that married persons had a 14% lower heart attack death rate than unmarried people. According to researchers, the spouse's post-event physical and mental support may be to blame for this.

According to a different study, middle-aged women in happy marriages have an edge over single women or those in unhappy marriages in terms of their health. Women who are happy in their relationships are less likely to experience risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a high body mass index.

Women who are happily married also have reduced levels of psychosocial cardiovascular risk factors, such as anxiety, anger, and depression.