Psychosocial stress predicts abnormal glucose metabolism: the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study

Emily D Williams, Dianna J Magliano, Robyn J Tapp, Brian F Oldenburg, Jonathan E Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The evidence supporting a relationship between stress and diabetes has been inconsistent.

PURPOSE: This study examined the effects of stress on abnormal glucose metabolism, using a population-based sample of 3,759, with normoglycemia at baseline, from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle study.

METHODS: Perceived stress and stressful life events were measured at baseline, with health behavior and anthropometric information also collected. Oral glucose tolerance tests were undertaken at baseline and 5-year follow-up. The primary outcome was the development of abnormal glucose metabolism (impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, and type 2 diabetes), according to WHO 1999 criteria.

RESULTS: Perceived stress predicted incident abnormal glucose metabolism in women but not men, after multivariate adjustment. Life events showed an inconsistent relationship with abnormal glucose metabolism.

CONCLUSIONS: Perceived stress predicted abnormal glucose metabolism in women. Healthcare professionals should consider psychosocial adversity when assessing risk factor profiles for the development of diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-72
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date7 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Blood Glucose/metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/metabolism
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance/metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance/physiology
  • Life Change Events
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Obesity/metabolism
  • Perception
  • Prediabetic State/metabolism
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological/metabolism


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