Loneliness is associated with all-cause mortality and coronary heart disease. However, the prospective relationship between loneliness and type 2 diabetes onset is unclear..
..A total of 264 (6.42%) participants developed type 2 diabetes over the follow-up period. Loneliness was a significant predictor of incident type 2 diabetes (HR 1.46; 95% CI 1.15, 1.84; p = 0.002) independent of age, sex, ethnicity, wealth, smoking status, physical activity, alcohol consumption, BMI, HbA1c, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Further analyses detected an association between loneliness and type 2 diabetes onset (HR 1.41; 95% CI 1.04, 1.90; p = 0.027), independent of depressive symptoms, living alone and social isolation. Living alone and social isolation were not significantly associated with type 2 diabetes onset.
Loneliness is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The mechanisms underlying this relationship remain to be elucidated.