Study Finds that Married Couples are Less Likely to Develop Type 2 Diabetes Even If They’re Unhappy in the Relationship

Study Finds that Married Couples are Less Likely to Develop Type 2 Diabetes Even If They’re Unhappy in the Relationship

Even if a couple is not very happy in their relationship, research suggests that people who live under the same roof as a couple, whether married or not, have a decreased chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

This study, completed by researchers from the Universities of Luxembourg and Ottawa, builds on earlier research that shows happy marriage has positive effects on one’s health.

However, as mentioned before, what is more surprising is that the research says co-habitation lowers blood sugar levels regardless of how blissful or challenging the romantic relationship is, especially as far as elderly people are concerned.

Katherine Ford, the study’s lead author, told Guardian that “Increased support for older adults experiencing the loss of a marital / cohabitating relationship after divorce or bereavement, and also the dismantling of many negative stereotypes around romantic relationships later in life, may be starting points for addressing some health risks, more specifically deteriorating glycemic regulation, which is linked to marital transitions in older adults.”

The researcher managed to reach this conclusion after analyzing information on 3,335 people, aged between 50 and 89 from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

All of them were free of diabetes at the start of the study.

76 percent of those evaluated were married or cohabitating, according to the findings.

Whether it was a happy, loving relationship or not, that was less significant than simply just having a relationship, according to the researchers.

All in all, what they learned was that the kind and quality of the relationship had little to no impact on the participants’ average levels of blood glucose.

The team goes on to explain that “Overall, the results suggested that marital / cohabitating relationships were inversely associated to HbA1c levels regardless of the levels of spousal support or strain. Likewise, these relationships seemed to have a protective effect against HbA1c levels above the pre diabetes threshold.”


Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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