Loneliness predicts development of type 2 diabetes: Study
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The study shows that it is the absence of quality connections with people and not the lack of contact that predicts the onset of type 2 diabetes, suggesting that helping people form and experience positive relationships could be a useful tool in prevention strategies for type 2 diabetes. Loneliness occurs when an individual perceives that their social needs are not being met and reflects an imbalance between desired and actual social relationships.

This is the first study to investigate the experience of loneliness with later onset of type 2 diabetes. The study analyzed data from the English Longitudinal Study Ageing on 4112 adults aged 50 years. At the start of data collection all participants were free of diabetes and had normal levels of blood glucose. But over a period of 12 years 264 people developed type 2 diabetes and the level of loneliness measured at the start of data collection was a significant predictor of the onset of type 2 diabetes later on in life. This relationship remained intact when accounting for smoking, alcohol, weight, level of blood glucose, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. The association was also independent of depression, living alone and social isolation.

The study shows a strong relationship between loneliness and the later onset of type 2 diabetes. It also demonstrates a clear distinction between loneliness and social isolation in that isolation or living alone does not predict type 2 diabetes whereas loneliness, which is defined by a person's quality of relationships, does.

According to the study a possible biological reason behind the association between loneliness and type 2 diabetes could be the impact of constant loneliness on the biological system responsible for stress, which, over time affects the body and increases the risk for diabetes.

If the feeling of loneliness becomes chronic, then everyday a person is stimulating the stress system and over time that leads to wear and tear on your body and those negative changes in stress-related biology may be linked to type 2 diabetes development.

source: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-09-loneliness-diabetes.html
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