Researchers examined the role of marital status in the development of type 2 diabetes. Using prospective data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, researchers found that unmarried men (especially widowers) had an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes, when compared to married men (adjusting for other factors). This increased risk may be partially mediated by unfavorable changes in lifestyle, diet, and adiposity.
This paper summarizes current evidence of social relations and health, looking specifically at how social integration and support are related to health behaviors and outcomes. The paper reports that social relations benefit health behaviors, including chronic illness self-management, and decrease suicidal tendency.
Research suggests that optimistic individuals are more likely to live a healthier and longer life. However, more longitudinal studies are necessary to learn more about when, why, how and for whom optimism plays a role in good health and whether interventions that enhance optimism will yield health benefits.