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BMC Public Health. 2017 Dec 19;17(1):955. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4948-6.

Socially isolated individuals are more prone to have newly diagnosed and prevalent type 2 diabetes mellitus - the Maastricht study.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Microbiology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
2
Department of Sexual Health, Infectious Diseases and Environmental Health, Public Health Service South Limburg, P.O. Box 33, 6400 AA, Heerlen, the Netherlands.
3
CAPHRI Care and Public Health Research Institute, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
4
Department of Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
5
CARIM Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
6
Department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
7
Department of Social Medicine, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
8
Department of Medical Microbiology & Infection Control, VU University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
9
Department of Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ, Maastricht, the Netherlands. m.schram@maastrichtuniversity.nl.
10
CARIM Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, the Netherlands. m.schram@maastrichtuniversity.nl.
11
Heart and Vascular Centre, Maastricht University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ, Maastricht, the Netherlands. m.schram@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Social isolation is associated with type 2 diabetes (T2DM), but it is unclear which elements play a crucial role in this association. Therefore, we assessed the associations of a broad range of structural and functional social network characteristics with normal glucose metabolism, pre-diabetes, newly diagnosed T2DM and previously diagnosed T2DM.

METHODS:

Participants originated from The Maastricht Study, a population-based cohort study (n = 2861, mean age 60.0 ± 8.2 years, 49% female, 28.8% T2DM (oversampled)). Social network characteristics were assessed through a name generator questionnaire. Diabetes status was determined by an oral glucose tolerance test. We used multinomial regression analyses to investigate the associations between social network characteristics and diabetes status, stratified by sex.

RESULTS:

More socially isolated individuals (smaller social network size) more frequently had newly diagnosed and previously diagnosed T2DM, while this association was not observed with pre-diabetes. In women, proximity and the type of relationship was associated with newly diagnosed and previously diagnosed T2DM. A lack of social participation was associated with pre-diabetes as well as with previously diagnosed T2DM in women, and with previously diagnosed T2DM in men. Living alone was associated with higher odds of previously diagnosed T2DM in men, but not in women. Less emotional support related to important decisions, less practical support related to jobs, and less practical support for sickness were associated with newly diagnosed and previously diagnosed T2DM in men and women, but not in pre-diabetes.

CONCLUSION:

This study shows that several aspects of structural and functional characteristics of the social network were associated with newly and previously diagnosed T2DM, partially different for men and women. These results may provide useful targets for T2DM prevention efforts.

KEYWORDS:

Pre-diabetes; Prevention; Social network; Social support; Type 2 diabetes

PMID:
29254485
PMCID:
PMC5735891
DOI:
10.1186/s12889-017-4948-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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