Stress increases risk of diabetes

Men who are stressed are more likely to develop Type-2 diabetes

Man stressed

Do you yawn at every mention of stress causing ill effects on one’s health? But here’s some intriguing news for you would not have heard of. Men who feel deeply stressed are at a bigger risk of developing Type-2 diabetes than those who don’t feel the stress. A Swedish research team from the University of Gothenburg came to this conclusion after studying 7500 men over 35 years of age.

This study began in the 1970s by monitoring the health of men born between 1915 and 1925 in the Gothenburg region. With this unique data in hand, the team was able to establish the association between stress and high risk of Type-2 diabetes.

How was risk of diabetes measured?

Of the total sample, 6,828 men without any previous history of diabetes, coronary artery disease or stroke were analysed. Out of the lot, 899 men being studied developed diabetes.

How was stress measured?

The men were provided a six-point scale and asked to score their stress level considering various stress factors such as irritation, anxiety and sleeplessness as well as work-related problems or at-home stressors. And, 15.5 per cent of the men reported permanent stress either during the past one year or during the past five years.

The researchers found that men reporting permanent stress had a 45 per cent higher risk of developing diabetes, compared to men who reported to have no or periodic stress. This connection between stress and diabetes is statistically significant, even after adjusting for age, social status, activity levels, BMI, and blood pressure.

"Today, stress is not recognised as a preventable cause of diabetes," says researcher Masuma Novak, who led the study. "As our study shows that there is an independent link between permanent stress and the risk of developing diabetes, which underlines the importance of preventive measure."

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