Psychological distress ups risk of type 2 diabetes

Tue, 15 Jan 2013
A new study has found that people who are regularly stressed are considerably more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the future.

Analysis of a large UK survey by a team of European researchers found that people with higher levels of psychological distress were 33 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with the metabolic condition compared to those with low distress levels.

The team, led by Paula MC Mommersteeg of Tilburg University, The Netherlands, examined data from more than 9,500 participants of the 1991 British Household Panel Survey. The General Health Questionnaire was used to measure general psychological distress.

A total of 472 participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during an 18-year follow up, and the researchers calculated that those with high levels of psychological distress had a 33 per cent greater risk of developing the disease than those with low levels of distress.

They concluded that elevated levels of psychological distress are a risk factor for the diabetes type 2, adding that this association may be potentially mediated by low energy levels and impaired health status.

The findings, published online in BMC Public Health journal, support previous research studies that have linked different types of stress, including psychosocial stress, with elevated risk of type 2 diabetes.
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