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Associations of Mindfulness with Glucose Regulation and Diabetes

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Objective: To evaluate whether dispositional mindfulness is associated with glucose regulation and type 2 diabetes. Methods: Study participants (N = 399) were from the New England Family Study, a prospective birth cohort, with median age 47 years. Dispositional mindfulness was assessed using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Type 2 diabetes and "normal plasma glucose" were defined using American Diabetes Association criteria. Results: Multivariable-adjusted regression analyses demonstrated that participants with high versus low MAAS scores were significantly more likely to have normal plasma glucose levels (prevalence ratio = 1.35 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08,1.87)), and were not significantly associated with type 2 diabetes (prevalence ratio = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.38,1.79), adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, family history of diabetes and childhood socioeconomic status. Mediation analyses provided evidence of mediation via obesity and sense of control, where indirect effects were prevalence ratios (95% CI) of 1.03 (1.00,1.10) and 1.08 (1.00,1.21), respectively. Conclusions: Dispositional mindfulness may be associated with better glucose regulation, in part because of a lower likelihood of obesity and greater sense of control among participants with higher levels of mindfulness. These findings need to be replicated by prospective studies to establish causality and to evaluate potential implications for mindfulness-based interventions to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.
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Keywords: DIABETES; EPIDEMIOLOGY; GLUCOSE REGULATION; MINDFULNESS; TYPE 2 DIABETES

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, Brown University School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Providence, RI;, Email: [email protected] 2: Investigator and Branch Chief, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD 3: Assistant Professor, Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Providence, RI 4: Assistant Professor, Brown University School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics, Providence, RI 5: Professor, Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School, Department of Family Medicine, Providence, RI 6: Professor, Brown University School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Providence, RI

Publication date: 2016-03-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

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