Does psychological stress cause diabetes?

Diabet Med. 1995 Feb;12(2):109-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.1995.tb00439.x.


Many patients believe that their diabetes has been caused by stress or an adverse life event. Whereas there is strong evidence that psychological stress is related to a deterioration in glycaemic control in established diabetes, there is much less evidence that psychological stress can cause diabetes in humans de novo. It seems more likely that psychological stress produces a deterioration in glycaemia in the non-symptomatic patient which in turn makes diabetic symptoms and the diagnosis evident. The pathogenic mechanisms which have been suggested to relate psychological stress to diabetes are described and reviewed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Humans
  • Stress, Physiological / classification
  • Stress, Psychological* / classification