Diabetes Forecast

Psychological Distress Increases Risk of Type 1 Diabetes

By Miriam E. Tucker , ,
stressed child holding hands over his ears


Serious psychological stress can raise the risk of a child developing type 1 diabetes, new research shows. Researchers sent questionnaires every few years to 16,153 families of children who didn’t have diabetes initially, asking about factors such as the child’s weight, diet, activity level, and whether any serious life events, such as a divorce, death, or major accident, had occurred. During the study, 58 of the children were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. That risk was three times higher for those who had experienced serious life events, even after accounting for other related factors, such as birth weight and parental education level. One possible reason: Stress might cause the immune system to attack insulin-making cells.
Source: Diabetologia, published online April 9, 2015



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