The perception of stress differs greatly among individuals. What one person may perceive as stressful, another may not. For this reason, stress is quite hard to measure in real-life situations. Artificial measures of accepted stress, such as electric shocks or deprivation of sleep, are very hard to apply to day-to-day life. However, people who report that they are more stressed, regardless of the actual nature of the stress itself, are more likely to suffer from diabetes. Furthermore, it has recently become apparent that measurable physical and psychological stress, such as that caused by sleep deprivation and social stress, is more likely to be associated with the presence of diabetes. This may in part explain the difference in the frequency of diabetes found in people of similar genetic background and measurable physical characteristics (body weight, amount of exercise, etc.) in different regions and societies. Exactly how perceived stress, whether physical, social, or psychological, leads to diabetes is not yet understood.
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