Psychological stress and blood glucose regulation in type I diabetic patients

Health Psychol. 1990;9(5):516-28. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.9.5.516.


Fifteen Type I diabetic patients self-monitored daily mean blood glucose levels (BGL), psychological stress, diet, exercise, and insulin injections for a period of 8 weeks. Separate multiple-regression analyses were conducted for each subject to assess the predictability of BGL from stress reports, independent of the effects of diet, exercise, and insulin self-administration. Considerable individual variability in findings was evident, with stress predicting BGL in a statistically significant manner in 7 of the 15 subjects. Stress had a significant effect on BGL independent of diet, exercise, and insulin administration for each of these 7 subjects. Discussion focused on the problems of measuring the key self-management behaviors influencing BGL and on the possibility that a subgroup of diabetic patients may be BGL stress responders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A