Stressful life raises diabetes risk by third

Living a stressful life can increase the chance of developing diabetes by as much as a third, research suggests.

People with high levels of psychological distress had a 33% greater risk of developing the disease
People with high levels of psychological distress had a 33% greater risk of developing the disease

An analysis of responses to a survey of British adults found people with general psychological distress were 33% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within the next two decades. Researchers believe low energy levels and worse health caused by the distress may account for the increased risk.

Researchers analysed data from 9,514 participants of the British Household Panel Survey undertaken in 1991, which used the General Health Questionnaire to measure levels of distress.

When researchers followed up these people after 18 years they found 472 had developed type 2 diabetes. Their analysis showed people with high levels of psychological distress had a 33% greater risk of developing the disease than those with low levels of distress.

stephen.robinson@haymarket.com

BMC Public Health 2012;12:1109

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