War-induced prolonged stress and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic patients

Psychol Med. 1993 Aug;23(3):645-51. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700025423.


Sound evidence that psychological stress may significantly worsen metabolic control in diabetic patients in lacking. The stressful effects of war on glycaemia control have not been assessed as yet. A randomly selected sample of displaced Type 2 diabetic persons (N = 44) was compared to a matched group of diabetic persons who had not been forced to leave their homes. The self-reported stress, depression level, fasting and post-prandial blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin and serum lipids were compared. The two groups were found to be significantly different in scores for self-reported stress and depression levels (P < 0.001). The proportion of subjects belonging to the category of clinically significant depression was larger in the group of displaced persons (P < 0.001), as well as the proportion of extreme scores for self-reported stress (P < 0.001). No significant differences between the groups were found for variables measuring metabolic control (P > 0.05), except for the serum triglycerides which were found to be significantly higher in the group of displaced persons (P < 0.01). This is assumed to be the result of differences in nutrition. The results do not demonstrate an association between prolonged stress and glycaemic control in Type 2 diabetic patients. The variability of data measuring stress and depression level in two extreme groups with respect to HbA1c values suggests that individual factors which determine the response to stressors need to be explored.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Combat Disorders / psychology*
  • Croatia
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology*
  • Female
  • Homeless Persons
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / metabolism
  • Warfare*