Marital relationships may be particularly relevant to the health of people. The Study ELSA (English Longitudinal Study of Ageing) was published online in February 2023 in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.
The team used data from 3335 people aged 50–89 years without previously diagnosed diabetes. They analyzed hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels within individuals in relation to their marital indicators (marital status, social support from spouse, and social strain from spouse) over time using linear fixed effect models.
They found that being married was associated with lower HbA1c values (β: −0.21%; 95% CI −0.31% to −0.10%) among adults without pre-existing diabetes. Spousal support and spousal strain were generally not associated with HbA1c values.
It seems that marital relationships, regardless of the quality of the relationship, are associated with lower HbA1c values for male and female adults aged over 50 years.