Adult men with type 2 diabetes are 50 per cent less likely to develop metabolic syndrome if they are married and live with their spouse, a study suggests.
The findings were presented by Japanese researchers from Yokohama City University at the 52nd European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting.
Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. It affects roughly one in four adults in the UK, according to the NHS.
In this new study, scientists analysed data on metabolic syndrome-related information from 270 patients with type 2 diabetes: 180 were married patients (109 men) and 90 were single (46 men).
As well as assessing Body Mass Index (BMI) and body fat mass, the researchers determined the relationship marital status and overweight status of patients.
They observed that married patients had significantly lower BMI and rates of metabolic syndrome compared to single patients. Furthermore, those who lived with their spouse were 58 per cent less likely to develop metabolic syndromen, and 50 per cent less likely to be overweight.
These findings still existed after adjustment for age, sex, diabetes duration, insulin use, beta cell function and exercise frequency.
“Being single was a risk factor for overweight status and metabolic syndromen, especially among male patients,” said Dr Yoshinobu Kondo. “These findings suggest that social supportive care is needed to help single patients with [type 2 diabetes] manage their body weight.”
The researchers noted that information about the relationship between patients and their spouses was unavailable, and was not accounted for as a possible confounder. Additionally, cultural differences in this Japanese study could affect its applicability to the UK population with type 2 diabetes.
Earlier this year, a separate study found that men who experience problems with their marriage could have a reduced risk of diabetes, and manage it better if they do have the condition.

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