Associations of psychosocial stress with type 2 diabetes and glycaemic control among Ghanaians: The RODAM study

Diabet Med. 2023 Jan;40(1):e15006. doi: 10.1111/dme.15006. Epub 2022 Nov 20.


Background: The extent to which psychosocial stress relates to type 2 diabetes among sub-Saharan Africans is not well understood. We assessed associations of psychosocial stresses with type 2 diabetes status and glycaemic control among Ghanaians.

Methods: We used data from Research on Obesity and Diabetes among African Migrants (RODAM) study. We performed logistic and linear regression models to assess association of psychosocial stresses with type 2 diabetes and HbA1c respectively with adjustments for age, sex, education and other stresses. We also assessed moderation effects of migration status (migrant Ghanaians vs. non-migrant Ghanaians), age, sex and education by adding interaction terms in models.

Results: Four thousand eight hundred and forty one Ghanaians were included with 44% resident in Ghana, 62% women, mean age of 46 years and 10% having type 2 diabetes. Psychosocial stress at home and at work were not associated with type 2 diabetes or HbA1c levels. Negative life events in past 12 months were negatively associated with type 2 diabetes (adjusted odds ratio = 0.93, 95% CI 0.87-0.99). Perceived discrimination was positively associated with type 2 diabetes (aOR = 1.01, 95% CI 1.004-1.03). Both associations were more pronounced in men. Perceived discrimination was also positively associated with HbA1c levels, especially among those with type 2 diabetes (adjusted β = 0.01, 95% CI 0.007-0.02).

Conclusions: Perceived discrimination and negative life events are associated with type 2 diabetes and glycaemic control among Ghanaians, especially in men. Further studies are needed to identify context-specific mechanisms underlying these associations.

Keywords: glycaemic control; psychosocial stress; sub-Saharan Africans; migration; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / psychology
  • Female
  • Ghana / epidemiology
  • Glycated Hemoglobin
  • Glycemic Control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress, Psychological* / complications
  • Stress, Psychological* / epidemiology


  • Glycated Hemoglobin