Stressed young men ‘at risk of type 2’

By Editor
27th January 2016
Latest news, Research

Stressed young men may be at greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes in later life, according to new research.

The findings of a study of 1.5 million men aged 18-years-old who were conscripted into military service in Sweden between 1969 and 1997, have just been published in the Diabetologia.

The men, who did not have diabetes aged 18, all underwent standard psychological assessments of their stress resistance.

A psychologist asked each participant about adjustment problems and conflicts, successes, responsibilities taken on and initiatives shown or experienced in school, work, home or in leisure activities.

Researchers from the Stanford University in California later matched the participants to their medical records and discovered about 34,000 of the men had been with type 2 diabetes between 1987 and 2012.

Diabetes diagnosis

Dr Casey Crump of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, who led the study, said: “Other studies have found that stressful life experiences in mid-adulthood are linked with a higher risk of developing diabetes.”

Both the amount of stress and stress resilience may have important health effects.

Speaking to Reuters Health Dr Crump added: “Stress resilience refers to the ability to properly adapt to or cope with stress and adversity.

“Low resistance to stress (or low stress resilience) means difficulty coping with or rebounding from adversity.”

After accounting for body weight, diabetes family history and individual and neighborhood socioeconomic factors, the researchers found that men with low stress resilience – that is, with a score between one and three on a nine-point scale – were 51 per cent more likely to have a diabetes diagnosis than those with the highest scores, between seven and nine.

Dr Crump added: “Both the amount of stress and stress resilience may have important health effects. Common sources of stress include relationship, family, school, and workplace problems or worries.

“Other stress-related physiologic changes may also be involved, such as higher levels of (the stress hormone) cortisol which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes.”

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