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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Is Associated With Improved Glycemic Control In Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Pilot Study

Melvyn R. Werbach, MD

Psychological distress is linked with impaired glycemic control in diabetics and increased risk of diabetes mellitus.1-6 Physiological responses to stress, including increased glucose production, glucose mobiliza- tion, and insulin resistance, could partially mediate this risk.7-9 Although stress-reduction interventions may improve glycemic control among people with diabetes, data are limited and results are conflicting.5,10-14

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an 8-week group intervention shown to reduce stress-related symptoms in various patient populations, but the program is yet untested in diabetic cohorts.15,16 The core of MBSR involves training in mindfulness meditation, a practice of self-regulating attention that lowers reactivity to stress triggers.17 Aims of the current pilot study were to estimate changes in glycemic control, weight, blood pressure, and stress-related psychological symp- toms in patients with type 2 diabetes participating in a stan- dard MBSR program.

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