Reaching Out for Support Tied to Lower Diabetes Mortality Risk

Study reinforces idea that chronically ill people with less social support have higher mortality
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who have a propensity to reach out for social support have lower odds of dying compared to their more independent counterparts, according to a study in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

Paul Ciechanowski, M.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a study of 3,535 nondepressed adult type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients who were assessed for relationship style based on attachment theory, with participants who were likely to reach out for social support classified as interactive and those who were less likely to seek support classified as independent.

After five years of follow-up, the mortality rate among the independent group was 39 per 1,000 compared to 29 per 1,000 for the interactive group, the researchers discovered. Even when demographic and clinical covariates were taken into account, the risk of death was still greater among the participants in the independent group, the data revealed.

"This is the first known study to demonstrate that relationship styles, or attachment styles, show an association with mortality," the authors write. "Further research is needed to examine possible mechanisms for this relationship and to develop effective interventions."

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