The relationship between stress and the development of diabetic complications

Lloyd, C. E.; Robinson, N.; Stevens, L. K. and Fuller, J. H. (1990). The relationship between stress and the development of diabetic complications. Diabetic Medicine, 8(2) pp. 146–150.



Using the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule of Brown and Harris, the relationship between preceding stress and the onset of diabetic complications and premature death was investigated prospectively in a random sample of 130 patients with diabetes, aged 35–59 years. The presence of stress, assessed as severe life-events and severe long-term difficulties, was not significantly associated with premature death or the onset of macrovascular disease over the relatively short period of follow-up (4 years). Those who commenced anti-hypertensive therapy during the follow-up period were significantly more likely to have experienced five or more severe life-events during the previous 5 years (40 vs 6%, p < 0.01), and also to have experienced one or more severe long-term difficulties during the same time period (60 vs 28%, p < 0.05). A multiple Cox regression analysis showed that the effects of stress were independent of other factors such as baseline blood pressure, type of diabetes, sex, and ethnic group.

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