Pi Phi Chapter

Psychosocial Adversity During Childhood and Insulin Resistance Later in Life

Nursing Research on the Green

2012 Abstract

Abby L. LeVasseur RN, BSN, MSN Stuedent
Project Faculty: Judy K. Anderson, Ph.D., CNE
Viterbo University

  • Background: Type II diabetes, a form of insulin resistance, in children has increased by 41% since 1990. It is predicted 30-40% of children born today will develop type II diabetes.
  • Significance: When insulin resistance goes undiagnosed and untreated it can cause many life threatening complications.
  • Purpose/objective: The purpose of this paper is to review the evidence that identifies psychosocial adversities in childhood as a risk factor for increased insulin resistance later in life. What psychosocial adversities during childhood increase the risk of insulin resistance later in life?
  • Methods: A literature search was used to identify relevant information. The databases CINAHL, PubMed, and MEDLINE Plus were utilized.
  • Results: Low economic status is the most commonly identified risk factor leading to insulin resistance later in life. Children with parents with low levels education, children with high levels of hostility, physical and or sexual abuse, low parental aspirations, father hardly takes child on outings, strict upbringing and also alcohol and drug abuse in the home are risk factors associated with insulin resistance later in life. Stress causes a release of excess glucose and cortisol. Excess glucose leads to glucose toxicity and causes insulin resistance. Cortisol causes visceral adipose, a risk factor for insulin resistance.
  • Clinical Implications: The health care provider needs to be aware of the patients’ psychosocial aspects of living as it directly affects their health negatively. Research on this topic is limited and further research needs to be done.

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