Men who report experiencing permanent stress have a significantly higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from the University of Gothenburg.
The study analyzed data collected during a 35-year follow-up study of 7,494 men born between 1915 and 1925 in Gothenburg, Sweden. They were first examined between January 1970 and March 1973, when they were between the ages of 47 and 56. Researchers then followed up until the end of 2008, or until they died.
Out of the initial group, 6,828 men without any previous history of diabetes, coronary artery disease or stroke were analyzed for this study.
The researchers report that 899 of the men developed diabetes during the follow up.
Stress at baseline was measured by asking the men to grade their stress level on a six-point scale, based on factors such as irritation, anxiety and difficulties in sleeping related to conditions at work or at home.
At baseline, 15.5 percent of the men reported permanent stress related to conditions at work or home, either during the past year or during the past five years, the researchers note.
The study’s results show that men who reported permanent stress had a 45 percent higher risk of developing diabetes, compared with men who reported having no or periodic stress.
The link between stress and diabetes was statistically significant, even after adjusting for age, socioeconomic status, physical inactivity, BMI, systolic blood pressure and use of blood pressure-lowering medication, according to the researchers.
“Today, stress is not recognized as a preventable cause of diabetes,” said Masuma Novak, who led the study.
“As our study shows there is an independent link between permanent stress and the risk of developing diabetes, which underlines the importance of preventive measure.”
The study was published in the journal Diabetic Medicine.
Source: University of Gothenburg