People who have fewer social connections are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
That’s according to researchers at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, who published their findings this week in the journal BMC Public Health, revealing that socially isolated individuals are more prone to have newly diagnosed and prevalent Type 2 diabetes.
“Most diabetes prevention efforts focus on becoming more physically active or modifying one’s diet, which are hard to achieve,” Miranda Schram, an epidemiologist at Maastricht University and study co-author, told PBS NewsHour.
“So we wanted to look for effective, alternative strategies that can be used for intervention,” she said.
Maastricht University has an ongoing study searching for genetic and environmental risk factors connected to Type 2 diabetes. This specific part of the study looked at a large-scale population of 40 to 75 year old individuals living in southern Netherlands.
The researchers analyzed 2,861 participants, looking specifically at the disease’s connection to isolation. While the majority of the sample population did not have the disease, 43 percent had pre-diabetes, a recent diagnosis or existing Type 2 diabetes.