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Belly Fat and Stress Can Increase Your Diabetes Risk

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By Ira Dreyfuss, HHS HealthBeat

People with more belly fat have a higher risk of developing diabetes. But a study at Duke University Medical Center indicates stress may also contribute.

Researcher Richard Surwit measured levels of the stress hormone epinephrine when African-American women recalled stressful situations. He also measured blood sugar levels – known as blood glucose – which can indicate the risk of diabetes. And he recorded the amount of belly fat.

[Richard Surwit speaks] "People with the high belly fat and the high epinephrine levels, fasting glucose was the highest – so they were at the highest risk for developing diabetes."

Surwit can’t say if stress reduction reduces risk of diabetes, but he says diet and exercise can.

The study for a meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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