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The Benefits of a Challenging Marriage: Why Unhappiness May Lead to Long-term Health and Happiness

A study found that an unhappy marriage is better for health than singleness or divorce.

It turns out that people who live with a spouse are less likely to have high blood sugar, which can lead to type 2 diabetes, no matter how harmonious or intense their relationship is, according to the study.

Experts believe that couples influence each other’s behavior – like their diet – in addition to their tendency to have a higher joint income, which can also lead to healthier eating habits.

Previous research has shown that marriage can lead to a range of health benefits, including a longer life, fewer strokes and heart attacks, a lower risk of depression, and healthier eating than single people.

But the researchers wanted to focus on how long-term relationships affect blood sugar, which could be the result of factors like what we eat, hormones and stress.

They analyzed data from more than 3,300 adults aged 50 to 89 from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging.

People were asked if they had a husband, wife or partner with whom they lived, and 76% of the participants answered that they were married or living together.

They were also asked questions to explore the level of stress and support in the relationship.

The results were then analyzed along with data collected from blood samples taken every four years, which measure average blood sugar levels, known as HbA1c.

Experts from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, and the University of Luxembourg found that those who were married had an average of one-fifth (21%) lower blood sugar levels than those who were single or divorced. The results showed that the same applies to both men and women.

Relationship quality had no significant effect on mean blood glucose levels, which they admitted was unexpected given previous findings that supportive relationships are most beneficial.

However, those who have experienced marital upheaval, such as divorce, have also seen significant changes in HbA1c levels and the likelihood of developing prediabetes, a condition that often precedes diabetes.

Katherine Ford of Carleton University in Ottawa, who led the study, suggested that these relationships show how people’s health can be intertwined with their relationships.

“I expect that marriage and cohabitation will require some emotional investment over a long period of time,” she said. “It is likely that the loss of this type of relationship will have health consequences, for example, on average blood sugar levels.” “

The results are published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Source: Daily Mail


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