Social Isolation May Raise Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Research shows that maintaining friendships and other relationships can help improve our health as we age. Now, a study conducted by researchers from the Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands suggests that being socially active can even help reduce our risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Results of this study were published in BMC Public Health.
The Dutch researchers analyzed medical information on 2,861 adults between ages 40 and 75 who were involved in the Maastricht Study – a large observational study to examine genetic and environmental risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Of the study participants, 1,623 did not have diabetes, 430 had prediabetes (abnormal blood sugar levels not yet high enough to be classed as diabetes), 111 had a recent diabetes diagnosis, and 697 had a pre-existing type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
According to the researchers, those who did not belong to any clubs or social groups or participate in group activities were 60 percent more likely to have prediabetes. Socially isolated women were 112 percent more likely to have type 2 diabetes, and socially isolated men were 42 percent more likely. Researchers also discovered a significant link between the loss of friends and social acquaintances and the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Each social loss was associated with a 12 percent risk for newly diagnosed diabetes.