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J Behav Med. 2001 Feb;24(1):33-55.

Sense of coherence buffers relationships of chronic stress with fasting glucose levels.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Box 356560, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


Sense of coherence (SOC) was examined as a buffer of the relationship of chronic stress with fasting glucose and insulin levels. Spouse caregivers of persons with diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease (AD) (n = 73) were compared to controls [spouses of nondemented persons (n = 69)], group-matched on age/gender. After controlling for anger and coronary heart disease (CHD), interactions of SOC and gender explained variance in glucose (but not insulin) at study entry (T1) and 15-18 months later (T2). However, this occurred only in caregivers. At both times SOC and glucose were negatively related in men caregivers but not in women caregivers or in controls. In caregivers (but not controls), SOC at T1 predicted glucose at T2, independent of gender, anger, and glucose at T1; and hassles at T1 appeared to mediate this relationship. Future research should examine SOC as a buffer of other chronic stressors and metabolic variables.

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