Chronic stress, inflammation, and glucose regulation in U.S. Hispanics from the HCHS/SOL Sociocultural Ancillary Study

Psychophysiology. 2015 Aug;52(8):1071-9. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12430. Epub 2015 Apr 20.


Diabetes prevalence is rising rapidly, and diabetes disproportionately affects Hispanics and other underserved groups. Chronic stress may contribute to diabetes risk, but few studies have examined this relationship in U.S. Hispanics. We examined associations of chronic stress with fasting glucose, glucose tolerance, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in Hispanics without diabetes, and also assessed indirect effects of stress through inflammation (CRP). Participants were 3,923 men and women, aged 18-74, without diabetes, from the four U.S. field centers (Bronx, NY; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; San Diego, CA) of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) Sociocultural Ancillary study. Participants completed a measure of chronic life stress and a physical exam with oral glucose tolerance test. In a multivariate regression analysis with adjustment for demographic and health covariates, higher chronic stress was related to higher fasting glucose (standardized regression coefficient: β = .09, p < .01), postload glucose (β = .07, p < .05), and HbA1c levels (β = .08, p < .01). However, there was no indirect effect of stress through inflammation. Findings suggest that higher chronic stress is associated with poorer glucose regulation in Hispanics, prior to the onset of a clinical diabetes diagnosis.

Keywords: Glucose; Hispanic; Inflammation; Insulin; Stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / metabolism*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / metabolism*
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human