Good news for your health if you are unhappily married

A new study suggests your health and the quality of your marriage might have a link to a man’s likelihood of developing diabetes.

Michigan State University in the United States published its findings in the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences and cited that compared with happily married peers, men in unhappy marriages are less likely to develop diabetes, and if they do it’s not until later in life when it can be better managed anyway.

Of the 29.1 million Americans living with diabetes in 2012, among older Americans the prevalence of the disease is much higher – approximately 25.9 per cent of adults aged 65 years or older, which is the equivalent of almost 12 million seniors.

The study examined the link between a person’s quality of marriage, their risk of developing diabetes and how well the disease is managed if it develops later in life. Of the 1,228 men and women aged between 57-85 during the first round of the survey, 389 had developed diabetes by the time the second survey occurred five years later.

The survey included questions on satisfaction with current relationship, behaviour with partner, intimacy, attitude towards partner and sexual contact, and found that for men negative marital quality was linked to lower risk of developing diabetes and better management of the disease once it had been diagnosed.

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One explanation given from this surprising outcome is that because diabetes is a condition that requires careful and constant monitoring, a wife who consistently nags her husband could boost his health through effect.

In Australia approximately 1.7 million people have diabetes including roughly 500,000 who are not diagnosed.

Do you have diabetes? How intensive do you find monitoring the disease?