A study conducted by Dr Yoshinobu Kondo and his colleagues from Yokohama City University and Chigasaki Municipal Hospital has found that patients with Type 2 Diabetes who were single were more likely to be overweight than their married counterparts, adding that married men with diabetes who lived with their spouses had a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

The researchers studied 270 medical records of patients with Type 2 Diabetes from years 2010 to 2016, of which 180 were married and living with their spouses, while the other 90 were single. Out of those who were married, 109 were men and 71 were women, while 46 were men and 44, women, from the group of patients who were single.

This appears to build on another recent research which attested that marriage has a positive association with health.

Married patients have better blood glucose control

From their preliminary study, it was found that those from the married pool had a lower average body mass index (BMI) of 24.5 kg/m2 compared to those from the single group, which recorded an average BMI or 26.5 kg/m2. Those who were married also had lower levels of HbA1c, which is a measure of control for blood glucose, than those who were single, with an average of 7% and 7.3% respectively.

Additionally, the likelihood for married people to develop metabolic syndrome was found to be 54%, compared to the 68% in those who were single. Married patients were also 50% less likely to be overweight, after taking into consideration factors such as age and gender.

The study also found that risk of metabolic syndrome for married men was 58% less than for men who were single, although there was no linkage established between the risk of metabolic syndrome and marital status for women.

Afternoon naps linked with higher risk of diabetes

A separate study led by Dr. Yamada Tomahide from the University of Tokyo suggests that one’s risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes may increase with afternoon naps – if the catnap is more than an hour.

A meta-analysis of over 300,000 people across 21 published studies found that people who took afternoon naps lasting an hour or more were associated with a 45% elevated risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, when compared to those who took shorter or no naps at all.

The team proposed that unlike hour-long naps, short ones were more likely to improve alertness and motor skills, adding that further studies should be conducted to proof the efficiency of short naps.

Other factors linked to diabetes may be the cause for napping

According to the researchers, the need for long naps could be due to poor quality of sleep at night or lack of sleep due to work or social lifestyles, and are factors that can also lead to Type 2 Diabetes. Alternatively, people who were in the early stages of diabetes could also be more likely to take longer naps during the day.

Dr Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine from the University of Glasgow noted a possibility that napping is caused by other risk factors that lead to diabetes, proposing that it could be an early warning sign of the disease.

The coordinator of the Friedman Diabetes Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, Dr Gerald Bernstein, added that napping can result in elevation of blood sugar levels and therefore, people who are predisposed to diabetes and take long naps might trigger the disease.

It is important for the public to be aware that the findings of from this study are lifestyle associations and not the direct cause of diabetes, according to Dr Zoel Zonszein, the director of Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Centre in New York.

He added that the analysis of these studies was done among diverse populations, reflecting different lifestyles from different populations, and that it is “difficult to use this meta-analysis to support causation; it can simply be an association.” MIMS


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