Mentally Tiring Work May Increase Diabetes Risk in Women

Women who find their jobs mentally tiring are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology. The study findings suggest that mentally draining work, such as teaching, may increase the risk of diabetes in women. This suggests that employers and women should be more aware of the potential health risks associated with mentally tiring work.

Type 2 diabetes is an increasingly prevalent disease that places a huge burden on patients and society, and can lead to significant health problems including heart attacks, strokes, blindness and kidney failure. Numerous factors can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes including, obesity, diet, exercise, smoking or a family history of the disease. A recent review suggested that work-related stress might be associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women, but more investigation is needed.

In a French study, Dr Guy Fagherazzi and colleagues from the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health at Inserm, examined the effect of mentally tiring work on diabetes incidence in over 70,000 women, during a 22-year period. Approximately 75% of the women were in the teaching profession and 24% reported finding their work very mentally tiring at the beginning of the study. The study found that women were 21% more likely to develop type-2 diabetes if they found their jobs mentally tiring at the start of the study. This was independent of typical risk factors including age, physical activity level, dietary habits, smoking status, blood pressure, family history of diabetes and BMI.

Dr Guy Fagherazzi comments, “Although we cannot directly determine what increased diabetes risk in these women, our results indicate it is not due to typical type 2 diabetes risk factors. This finding underscores the importance of considering mental tiredness as a risk factor for diabetes among women.”

Dr Guy Fagherazzi states, “Both mentally tiring work and type 2 diabetes are increasingly prevalent phenomena. What we do know is that support in the workplace has a stronger impact on work-related stress in women than men. Therefore, greater support for women in stressful work environments could help to prevent chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes.”

The team now plans to study how mentally tiring work affects patients with diabetes, including how they manage their treatment, their quality of life and the risks of diabetes-related complications. This research may help to identify new approaches that could help improve the lives of patients living with diabetes.

Source: EurekAlert!


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Which Type of Exercise Might Lower Your Diabetes Risk?

Boosting your muscle strength could help ward off type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Even moderate amounts of resistance exercise may help prevent type 2 diabetes, said the study’s corresponding author, Duck-chul Lee. He’s an associate professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University.

For the study, Lee’s team tracked more than 4,500 adults, aged 20 to 100. The investigators found that moderate muscle mass was associated with a 32 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of problems such as smoking, drinking, obesity or high blood pressure.

The reduced diabetes risk associated with moderate muscle mass was also independent of heart/lung fitness, the findings showed.

Higher levels of muscle strength did not provide additional protection against diabetes. And Lee said there are no standardized measurements for muscle strength, so it’s difficult to recommend the ideal amount of resistance exercise.

“Naturally, people will want to know how often to lift weights or how much muscle mass they need, but it’s not that simple,” Lee said in a university news release.

“As researchers, we have several ways to measure muscle strength, such as grip strength or bench press. More work is needed to determine the proper dose of resistance exercise, which may vary for different health outcomes and populations,” he explained.

Getting started with resistance training doesn’t require a gym membership or expensive equipment. You can begin at home by doing body-weight exercises, said lead author Angelique Brellenthin, a postdoctoral researcher in kinesiology at Iowa State.

“We want to encourage small amounts of resistance training and it doesn’t need to be complicated,” Brellenthin said. “You can get a good resistance workout with squats, planks or lunges. Then, as you build strength, you can consider adding free weights or weight machines.”

Thirty million Americans have diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The overwhelming majority suffer from type 2, which is linked to being overweight and sedentary.

The study was published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Source: HealthDay


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Study Links Diabetes and Back Pain

People with diabetes have a 35 percent higher risk of experiencing low back pain and 24 percent higher risk of having neck pain than those without diabetes, a review by University of Sydney researchers has found.

Their findings, based on meta-analyses of studies that assess the links between diabetes and back or neck pain outcomes, were published in PLOS ONE.

Most adults experience low back pain during their lives and almost half suffer neck pain at some stage. Diabetes is an increasingly prevalent chronic condition; an estimated 382 million people live with type 2 diabetes, the most common form of this metabolic disease.

There was insufficient evidence in the review to establish a causal relationship between diabetes and back or neck pain, the paper’s senior author Associate Professor Manuela Ferreira from the University’s Institute of Bone and Joint Research said. But the findings warrant further investigation of the association.

“Diabetes and low back pain and neck pain seem to be somehow connected. We can’t say how but these findings suggest further research into the link is warranted,” Associate Professor Ferreira said.

“Type 2 diabetes and low back pain both have a strong relationship with obesity and lack of physical activity, so a logical progression of this research might be to examine these factors in more detail. Our analysis adds to the evidence that weight control and physical activity play fundamental roles in health maintenance.”

The paper also found diabetes medication could influence pain, possiby via its effect on blood glucose levels, and this connection should also be investigated. It also recommended health care professionals should consider screening for unknown diabetes in patients seeking care for neck pain or low back pain.

“Neck and back pain, and diabetes, are afflicting more and more people,” said co-author and collaborator Associate Professor Paulo Ferreira from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Charles Perkins Centre. “It’s worth committing more resources to investigate their interrelationship. It may be that altering treatment interventions for diabetes could reduce the incidence of back pain, and vice versa.”

Source: The University of Sydney


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Eating Nuts May Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk for People with Diabetes

Eating more nuts, particularly tree nuts, may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease among people with type 2 diabetes, according to new research in Circulation Research, an American Heart Association journal.

Type 2 diabetes is associated with an increased risk for high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke, and is a widespread public health problem affecting more than 30 million Americans. Nuts are chock full of unsaturated fatty acids, phytochemicals, fiber, vitamins such as vitamin E and folate, as well as minerals including calcium, potassium and magnesium. However, little is known about the health benefits, if any, that nuts might offer people with type 2 diabetes who face a greater risk for heart health complications.

In this latest study, researchers used self-reported diet questionnaires from 16,217 men and women before and after they were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and asked them about their consumption of both peanuts and tree nuts over a period of several years. During follow-up, there were 3,336 cases of cardiovascular disease (including 2,567 coronary heart disease cases and 789 stroke cases) and 5,682 deaths (including 1,663 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 1,297 deaths from cancer).

“Our findings provide new evidence that supports the recommendation of including nuts in healthy dietary patterns for the prevention of cardiovascular disease complications and premature deaths among individuals with diabetes,” said lead study author Gang Liu, Ph.D. a nutritional sciences researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. Moreover, even when people were in the habit of eating nuts before their diabetes diagnosis, adding more nuts to one’s diets proved beneficial probably at any age or stage. “It seems never too late to improve diet and lifestyle after diagnosis among individuals with type 2 diabetes.”

Researchers found that eating all kinds of nuts offered some heart-healthy benefits, with tree nuts showing the strongest association. The results also showed that eating even a small amount of nuts had an effect. Among their findings:

  • Compared to people with type 2 diabetes who ate less than a single 28-gram serving per month, eating five servings of nuts per week had a 17 percent lower risk of total cardiovascular disease incidence, a 20 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, a 34 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease death, and a 31 percent reduced risk of all-cause mortality.
  • Compared with people who did not change their nut-eating habits after being diagnosed with diabetes, those who increased their intake of nuts after being diagnosed with diabetes had an 11 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a 15 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, a 25 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease death, and a 27 percent lower risk of all-cause premature death.
  • Each additional serving per week of total nuts was associated with a 3 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 6 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease death.
  • The positive association with eating nuts continued independent of a person’s gender, smoking habits or body weight.
  • Tree nuts such as walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans, macadamias, hazelnuts and pine nuts were strongly associated with reduced cardiovascular risk compared with peanuts, with are actually legumes because unlike tree nuts, peanuts grow underground.

While the exact biological mechanisms of nuts on heart health are unclear, researchers report that nuts appear to improve blood sugar control, blood pressure, metabolism of fats, inflammation and blood vessel wall function. Also, researchers explain that tree nuts may offer more benefits because of they contain higher levels of these nutrients than peanuts.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and a major cause of heart attacks, strokes and disability for people living with type 2 diabetes,” said Prakash Deedwania, M.D., a professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine in Fresno and a member of the Know Diabetes by Heart science advisory committee. “Efforts to understand the link between the two conditions are important to prevent cardiovascular complications of type 2 diabetes and help people make informed choices about their health.”

Deedwania also stated that the study findings are very encouraging because the simple daily dietary habit of eating tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc., can have such a profound effect on coronary events, cardiac death and total mortality. “These findings further add to the growing evidence that certain lifestyle changes, regular exercise and a prudent diet can have significant favorable impact on the risk of cardiovascular disease and risk of cardiac events in patients with diabetes,“ Deedwania said.

Source: American Heart Association

Reducing Diabetes Risk with a Personalized Diet

Lauren Sharkey wrote . . . . . . . . .

Keeping blood glucose at a healthy level reduces the risk of developing diabetes. But until now, reducing high glucose levels has focused on limiting carb and calorie intake, rather than on how individuals respond to different foods.

The number of people in the United States who receive a diagnosis of diabetes continues to rise.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9.4 percent of the U.S. population had diabetes in 2015.

Some sources estimate that about 40 percent of U.S. adults have prediabetes. This condition is characterized by higher than normal blood sugar levels and may lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Experts are always looking for ways to prevent the onset of the condition. Reducing blood sugar — or blood glucose — levels is the primary method.

Typically, this involves controlling diet with a specific focus on lowering calorie and carbohydrate intake. Not only can this prevent diabetes, but it can also reduce a person’s risk of obesity and heart or kidney disease.

However, new research has shown that taking a more individualized approach may produce better results. “The current models of predicting blood glucose levels perform well, but they tend to bucket everything, like fats and carbohydrates, into one category,” says Purna Kashyap, co-director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine Microbiome Program, in Rochester, MN.

“As a clinician, I have seen that my patients do not respond to the same foods the same way — just like not all weight-loss diets work for all people the same,” adds study co-author Dr. Heidi Nelson.

The influence of the microbiome

The research team worked to find a model that could predict how blood sugar levels would react after a person ate specific foods.

The team took individual features into account. These included age, diet, and physical activity. They also considered the gut microbiome — the trillions of bacteria living in the intestines.

In total, 327 people living in either Minnesota or Florida took part in the study. Each participant gave a stool sample, which allowed researchers to examine each person’s unique gut microbiome. The team followed the participants for 6 days.

For breakfast, the volunteers ate bagels and cream cheese. The participants were then free to choose their diet for the rest of the day. The researchers asked them to record everything they ate, along with any exercise and rest periods. A blood glucose monitor also tracked blood sugar levels every 5 minutes.

The results are available in the JAMA Network Open journal. The article reports that the newly developed model accurately predicted how blood sugar responded to food 62 percent of the time.

Researchers noted that this was a significant improvement compared to the accuracy based on just carbohydrates (40 percent) or calories (32 percent).

Additionally, the team was able to see why certain foods resulted in tiredness for some people but gave others more energy.

Strengthening the case

Many studies on the topic tend to rely on self-reported data. This can be a problem if a person does not report elements of their day-to-day life accurately.

However, in this particular study, the researchers provided the participants with a food-logging app that allowed them to log meals instantly and privately, reducing the chance of forgetfulness.

It is not the only study to promote a different take on managing blood sugar levels. A 2015 study conducted at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science demonstrated similar findings.

The research team believes that comparable findings from two different countries strengthen the case for the individualized model.


“The similarity of results across Israel and the United States suggests that the individualized model works across diverse populations, despite personal traits and microbiomes that tend to vary due to different geographic locations, genetics, and behaviors.”

Lead author Dr. Helena Mendes Soares


Studies into further populations would build on this idea, as would a long-term look at the health benefits of an individualized diet approach.

Source: Medical News Today