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Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2012 Oct;120(9):560-3. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1314873. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Impact of psychological stress caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake on glycemic control in patients with diabetes.

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Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Tsukuba Institute of Clinical Medicine, Ibaraki, Japan.


We examined the relationship between psychological stress and the worsening of glycemic control in diabetic patients at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake. HbA1c levels in diabetic patients before and after the disaster were evaluated with the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and other questions including those on changes in diet, exercise, psychological stress and drug intake in 320 consecutive diabetic patients who had been followed in a diabetes clinic. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the total GHQ scores (odds ratio [OR] 1.03 [95% confidence interval 1.01-1.06]; p<0.01) and interruption of drug intake (OR 4.48 [1.57-12.7]; p=0.01) were independently associated with worsening of glycemic control defined as an increase in the HbA1c level equal to or greater than 0.5%. Among the scores on the GHQ, those for somatic symptoms (OR 1.18 [1.01-1.38]; p=0.03) and sleep disturbances or anxiety (OR 1.26 [1.08-1.46]; p<0.01) were independently associated with glycemic control. These results suggest that psychological stress during a disaster has independent effects on worsening of glycemic control.

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