A new study has recently revealed that the increased stress may make people, who relocate from rural areas to cities, more prone to diabetes in developing nations. One factor that could raise a person’s risk of developing diabetes and other metabolic problems is chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can counteract insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar, and slow the body’s production of it.
In the research among the urban residents, 28 percent of the people had diabetes or other glucose metabolism disorders. The rate was less than half that for rural residents. The urban dwellers also had significantly higher cortisol levels than their rural counterparts. While the city residents reported that they exercised less and ate more fast food and desserts than the rural residents, lifestyle changes aren’t the only factor at work. The difference in cortisol levels indicates that the hormone was a key part of the equation.
Peter Herbert Kann, PhD, said that this was the first prospective study to systematically show the body’s regulation of the hormone cortisol plays a part in the metabolic changes brought on by the shift to an urban lifestyle. The study is published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Compared to children without diabetes, the brains of those with the disease had slower overall and regional growth of gray and white matter. These differences were associated with higher and more variable blood sugar levels, according to the study.