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Attending social clubs 'lowers type 2 diabetes risk'

20 December 2017 09:16 says one in 16 people have diabetes says one in 16 people have diabetes

Joining social groups and clubs can lower a person's chance of developing type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.

According to a study that looks at the correlation between social isolation and the condition, women who are not involved with social networks have a 112% higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

Among male participants who live alone, researchers found the odds are 94% higher of developing the condition than those who live with partners and are socially active.

Broadening social networks

Dr Miranda Schram, of Maastricht University where the study has been conducted, urges "high-risk groups" for type 2 diabetes - such as older people and overweight or obese individuals - to broaden their social networks.

Ms Schram says they should attempt to "make new friends, as well as become members of a club, such as a volunteer organisation, sports club or discussion group".

She added: "As men living alone seem to be at a higher risk for the development of type 2 diabetes, they should become recognised as a high-risk group in health care. In addition, social network size and participation in social activities may eventually be used as indicators of diabetes risk."

Anyone suffering from diabetes can enjoy added peace of mind during trips abroad with diabetes travel insurance.

Reducing the risk of pre-diabetes

The research was carried out in the Netherlands, involving 2,861 participants.

Other outcomes from the study suggest there is a 60% higher chance of developing pre-diabetes for those who live in isolation.

This study is the first of its kind to look into the correlation between stages of type 2 diabetes and a variety social network characteristics, such as social support, network size or type of relationships, lead author Stephanie Brinkhues said.

The study has been published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.