Traditional risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure and a sedentary lifestyle may not be the only predictors of Type 2 diabetes. New research points to the role that stress may play in the development of the condition in women.
The study, being presented Saturday at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions conference, found that mounting stress from traumatic events, as well as long-term situations at home or work, was associated with an almost two-fold higher risk of new Type 2 diabetes cases among older women.
“Psychosocial stressors as risk factors for diabetes should be taken as seriously as other embraced diabetes risk factors,” said Jonathan Butler, the study’s lead researcher and a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, San Francisco’s Center for the Study of Adversity and Cardiovascular Disease.
Diabetes is a major public health issue, affecting an estimated 30.3 million Americans as of 2015, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among them, 12 million are 65 and older.