“I Can’t Get Divorced, It’s Bad for My Glucose Levels!”

The relationship between personality traits and blood glucose was only significant for unmarried men. Married men had lower blood glucose levels, on average, than single men at follow-up.

Jul 25, 2008

Hostility and anger are associated with higher blood glucose levels in non-diabetic single men, new research shows.

But for married men, having a hostile or angry personality, or so-called "type A" behavior traits, doesn't appear to boost blood sugar, Dr. Biing-Jiun Shen of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles found.

High blood sugar puts people at risk for both diabetes and coronary artery disease, while certain personality traits are known to worsen heart health and increase diabetes risk. To determine whether these traits might directly relate to blood glucose levels, the researchers evaluated 485 healthy men ranging in age from 52 to 66, checking their fasting blood glucose levels in 1986 and again in 1995.

Hostility, anger, and type A behavior as assessed at the beginning of the study were associated with blood glucose levels nine years later, the researchers found, although depression had no relationship to blood sugar.

But the relationship between personality traits and blood glucose was significant only for unmarried men. Married men had lower blood glucose levels, on average, than single men at follow-up.

"We speculate that married men benefited from their spouses, who helped them maintain a healthier lifestyle and curtail detrimental habits," Shen and colleagues suggest.

Source: Diabetes Care, July 2008

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Posted by mgordon on 27 July 2008

This study depends if the spouse is educated. I know of situations where the wife did more harm than good by preparing high fat and starchy meals.

Posted by Anonymous on 21 August 2008

I know in my own case that what motivates me the most when I am frustrated and not taking every step to care for myself is wanting to stay healthy for my wife and two daughters. It may seem odd, but when the motivation lags or I get depressed by declining health the need to care for the rest of the family helps pull me up and out of the blues.

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