A new study has found a reduced risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in patients with Type 2 diabetes, Medical News Today reported.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and published in JAMA Neurology, analyzed data from Danish nationals to examine a link between diabetes- and obesity-related hospital admissions, and the risk of being diagnosed with ALS.

The data included 3,650 patients who were diagnosed with ALS between 1982 and 2009, Medical News Today reported. The average age of ALS diagnosis in each patient was 65.4. Researchers compared the patients’ data to 365,000 healthy individuals, 9,294 of which had diabetes. Only 55 of those determined to have diabetes went on to receive an ALS diagnosis.

“We conducted a nationwide, population-based study and observed an overall protective association between diabetes and ALS diagnosis, with the suggestion that Type 2 diabetes is protective and Type 1 diabetes is a risk factor,” study author Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou said, according to Medical News Today.

“Although the mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear, our findings focus further attention on the role of energy metabolism in ALS pathogens,” she said.

Around half of patients diagnosed with ALS die within three years of onset, the paper reported.