Acute effects of laboratory stress on blood glucose in noninsulin-dependent diabetes.

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The acute effects of two psychological stressors (personally stressful imagery and threat of shock) on blood glucose (BG), heart rate, blood pressure, skin conductance, and subjective stress were studied in 22 noninsulin-dependent diabetic adults and nine healthy, nondiabetic subjects similar in age, weight, education and sex. The diabetic group's BG rose significantly after threat of shock (M change from rest = 18.4 mg/dL, p < .05), although the nondiabetic group's BG remained stable throughout the assessment. Significant increases in subjective stress ratings (p < .05) and skin conductance level (p < .05) paralleled the noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitis (NIDDM) subjects' BG response to threat of shock. The findings suggest that some stressors can have hyperglycemic effects on individuals with NIDDM, although generalization of these findings to the natural environment remains to be demonstrated. The methodology used is contrasted with other studies that have failed to demonstrate stress effects on BG.

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