Diabetes is a pathological condition characterized by high blood sugar levels in the body. Over time, this condition has become a major health concern all across the world including the United States. It is estimated that more than 20 million Americans have diabetes of some form or the other and the number are increasing every year. Around 10% of these 30 million are people above the age of 65 and females seem to be getting it more than males. This has prompted researchers to look for the risk factors for diabetes in females [1, 2, 3].
A person is said to be diabetic if their body is not able to regulate glucose effectively. This results in excessive glucose being present in the blood which increases the risk of the person developing major health issues including cardiovascular illness, kidney issues, and stroke. Even though family history and genetic factors have a role to play in the increased risk for type-2 diabetes, external factors like hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity also are well-known risk factors for type-2 diabetes [1, 2, 3].
Now, the researchers are looking for risk factors which are beyond these known physiological risks. Based on a research study, it has been determined that stress also has a role to play in increasing the risk of type-2 diabetes in females. The research suggests that stress as a result of traumatic events, domestic issues, and problems at work causing increased stress all have a direct link to the increased risk of type-2 diabetes in females, especially those above the age of 60 [1, 2, 3]. This article brings to the fore the link between stress and increased risk of diabetes type-2 in females.
How Work Stress Is Linked To Risk Of Diabetes Type-2 In Females?
A latest research has found that there is a direct link between work stress and increased risk of type-2 diabetes in females. The research has been published in the European Journal of Endocrinology. It has been estimated that around 9% of the population in the United States are diabetic or are pre-diabetic. This is basically due to lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, and poor lifestyle practices along with premorbid conditions like hypertension and hypercholesterolemia .
The research study suggests that people with depression are also at increased risk for developing type-2 diabetes. The new study was conducted by Guy Fagherazzi who is a senior research scientist at the centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population at the research institute in Inserm Paris, France. He and his team of researchers conducted a thorough analysis to identify a link between work stress and diabetes type-2 in females .
They collected data of about 22,000 females for a period of 22 years between 1994 and 2014. Majority of the participants in the study were females working as teachers who reported that their line of work was mentally tiring for them and involved lot of stress. Over the time period of the study, it was noted that out of 22,000 females more than 4000 developed type-2 diabetes by the end of the study .
After doing a close analysis including all other external factors the researchers concluded that the incidence of diabetes was higher in females who considered their job as mentally tiring or extremely stressful. It was noted that participants who considered their job to be extremely stressful and tiring were 21% more likely to develop type-2 diabetes than others .
This was despite taking all other external factors like lifestyle habits, premorbid conditions, and weight of the person where the risk for developing type-2 diabetes did not change much. This led to the researchers stating that the results of the study clearly indicates the importance of considering the long term impact of stressful work environment in the overall metabolic activity of a person, especially in cases of females .
Even though the reason behind the increased risk was not known, the findings of the study underline the importance of considering mental stress as a risk factor for diabetes type-2 in females. The researchers also state the importance of having a less stressful work environment and providing support for those who feel burnt out or exhausted to relieve some stress significantly impacts the overall health of the female and also decreases the risk of developing type-2 diabetes due to stress .
The team in the future plans to examine the effect of stress on people who have a known diagnosis of type-2 diabetes. The researchers feel that their findings will pave way for new developments in the field of managing a chronic condition like diabetes .
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