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Job Stress as Risk Factor for Diabetes

A new study suggests that workplace stress could be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The finding by Israel scientists places job burnout on a similar level as other risk factors for the disease such as high body mass index, smoking and a lack of exercise.

While the research finds a link between job stress and disease, authorities comment that stress in general can influence the body’s ability to metabolize glucose, especially among genetically predisposed individuals.

Job Stress as Risk Factor for DiabetesLead author Samuel Melamed, an associate professor at Tel Aviv University in Israel, and colleagues looked at the experiences of 677 Israeli workers who were followed from 1998 to 2003. Nearly 77 percent of the workers were men, and their average age was about 43 years.

The study findings appear in the November/December issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Of the workers, 17 developed type 2 diabetes during the study period. The researchers found that people who experienced job burnout were 1.84 times more likely to become diabetic, even when factors like age, sex and obesity were taken into account.
The researchers looked at a smaller sample — 507 workers — and tried to statistically eliminate the possible effect of blood pressure levels. The result: The burned-out workers were then 4.32 times more likely to get type 2 diabetes.

The job burnout may be only part of the picture, Melamed said. “It is possible that these people are prone to diabetes because they can’t handle stress very well,” he said. “Their coping resources may have been depleted not only due to job stress but also life stresses, such as stressful life events and daily hassles.”

Indeed, stress can disrupt the body’s ability to process glucose, especially in people whose genetics make them vulnerable, said Richard Surwit, chief of the Division of Medical Psychology at Duke University Medical Center.

Surwit said the study results should be replicated in a much larger group of subjects. He said the study author “needs to look at hundreds of thousands of people to see if he gets the same thing.”

Source: Health Behavior News Service

Job Stress as Risk Factor for Diabetes

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Job Stress as Risk Factor for Diabetes. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2006/11/20/job-stress-as-risk-factor-for-diabetes/420.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.