bannerHON
img
HONnews
HONnews
img PATIENT / PARTICULIER img PROFESSIONNEL DE SANTE img WEBMESTRE img
img
 
img
HONcode sites
Khresmoi - new !
HONselect
News
Conferences
Images

Themes:
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X Y Z
Browse archive:
2018: S A J J M A M F J
2017: D N O S

 
  Other news for:
Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes Mellitus, Non-Insulin-Dependent
Love
Mental Health
 Resources from HONselect
Friendships May Be Your Defense Against Diabetes

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Dec. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- You probably lean on your friends in tough times. Now, new research suggests your pals might even help you prevent one very big health problem -- type 2 diabetes.

In a study of nearly 3,000 middle-aged to elderly people in the Netherlands, researchers found that people who had social networks of 10 to 12 people were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people with only seven to eight close friends.

Each drop in a social network member was tied to a 5 percent to 12 percent higher risk of diabetes, the study found.

The investigators also found that men living alone were more likely to have type 2 diabetes, while living alone didn't seem to affect a woman's risk of having the blood sugar disease.

"A larger network size may have an important impact on an individual's lifestyle," said the study's lead author, Stephanie Brinkhues. She's a doctoral candidate at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

"A larger network also means more access to social support when it is needed, more contacts outside the house, and therefore being more socially active. The larger social network may help people to improve their lifestyle, eat more healthy and be more physically active," she said.

Those are important steps for preventing type 2 diabetes, which is linked to sedentary behavior and being overweight.

As to why men living alone might not do as well, the study's senior author, Miranda Schram, suggested several possibilities.

"Potentially, men living alone may not take care of themselves as much as women in this situation," said Schram, an associate professor at Maastricht University.

"They may have more unhealthy lifestyles, for instance, eating less fresh vegetables and fruit, being less physically active and, in general, health may be less an issue for them, compared to women living alone," she added.

Schram's advice to anyone at high risk of type 2 diabetes? Consider making new friends, volunteering or joining special-interest groups.

Both authors noted that this study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. However, other research has also found a link between type 2 diabetes and living alone or with less social support, which suggests that these factors might contribute to type 2 diabetes, they said.

But at least one doctor thinks that if isolation or social networks play some role in type 2 diabetes, it's a small role.

Dr. Joel Zonszein is director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

"This was a very large and very impressive study, but there are still a lot of problems with the study," he said.

One issue is with the design of the study itself. It only looks at one moment in time, and doesn't account for changes that might have occurred in people's lives.

Zonszein said there are so many other factors that can contribute to diabetes, it's difficult to tease out the effect each one has, if any. The study authors did try to control for such factors, but it's hard to account for all of them. Zonszein said more research is needed to see if these findings can be replicated.

In the meantime, he won't be recommending extra social gatherings to his patients. "I don't think having more friends or being less isolated will slow down the progression of diabetes," he concluded.

However, the study authors stressed that people should be encouraged to expand their social network. Doing so could have additional health benefits, they said.

Study participants ranged in age from 40 to 75, with an average age of 60. About half were female, and 29 percent had type 2 diabetes.

The study was published online Dec. 18 in BMC Public Health.

More information

Learn more about preventing type 2 diabetes from the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

SOURCES: Stephanie Brinkhues, M.Sc., doctoral candidate, Maastricht University, the Netherlands; Miranda Schram, Ph.D., associate professor, Maastricht University, the Netherlands; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, Clinical Diabetes Center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Dec. 18, 2017, BMC Public Health, online

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=729508

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Life Style
Risk
Women
Men
Research Personnel
Role
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


Home img About us img MediaCorner img HON newsletter img Site map img Ethical policies img Contact