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Difficulty trusting and reaching out to others may shorten diabetes patients' lives
Date:3/17/2010

Mistrust can exact a high toll. Being overly cautious or dismissive in relating to people, researchers are learning, may shorten the lives of people with diabetes.

Diabetes patients who have a lower propensity to reach out to others have a higher mortality rate than those who feel comfortable seeking support. These are the findings of a five-year study reported by Dr. Paul Ciechanowski, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington (UW) and an affiliate investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle.

Ciechanowski also directs the training insitute at the Center for Healthcare Improvement for Addictions, Mental Illness and Medically Vulnerable Populations (CHAMMP) at Harborview Medical Center, which is part of UW Medicine.

The report was published in this month's Diabetes Care, a professional journal of the American Diabetes Association.

This is the first known study, the research team believes, to examine the association between relationship styles and mortality.

The researchers examined 3,535 adult patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes enrolled as Group Health Cooperative patients in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. Because depression has been linked to premature death from diabetes, patients with depression were not included to avoid confounding the study results.

The patients completed a relationship questionnaire, developed in 1994 by Griffin and Bartholomew. Based on the results of this survey, patients were divided into two groups: those with an interactive style and those with an independent style in relating to people.

Individuals with an interactive style find it easy to get close to others and rely on them, and in turn are dependable for others. Those with an independent style tend to be either dismissive or fearful of close relationships. Some people with this style would like emotional closeness, but fi
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Contact: Leila Gray
leilag@u.washington.edu
206-685-0381
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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