Add diabetes to the list of health conditions that may be tied to stress. New research out of Sweden has found men who report high levels of stress have a significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than men who live less stressful lives.
The finding, which is based on a 35-year study of nearly 7,500 men by the University of Gothenburg, suggests easing stress may be a significant way to prevent the condition, which can lead to heart disease, blindness, and a range of other health problems.
"Today, stress is not recognized as a preventable cause of diabetes" said Masuma Novak, a health specialist who led the study, published in the journal Diabetic Medicine. "As our study shows that there is an independent link between permanent stress and the risk of developing diabetes, which underlines the importance of preventive measure."
For the study, researchers at the University’s Sahlgrenska Academy tracked the health of men born in Gothenburg between 1915 and 1925. About 900 of the men developed diabetes during 35 years of follow up, with about 15 percent reporting high levels of stress, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping as a result of work and home conditions.
The results show that men who reported permanent stress had a 45 percent higher risk of developing diabetes, compared with men who reported to have no or periodic stress, regardless of such factors as age, socioeconomic status, physical inactivity, weight, blood pressure, and other health conditions.
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