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S. Korean women: Stress linked to diabetes

Published By United Press International
SEOUL, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Diabetic married women in South Korea say the stress of caring for their families was a factor in their contracting the disease, researchers say.

Postdoctoral fellow Hyunjeong Park and Jennifer Wenzel of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore said in a Korean household, it is commonplace for women to focus on their family when overwhelmed with multiple roles, while men tend to focus on work when faced with the same situation.

One of the study's findings was that in married Korean women who take care of their families, having diabetes proved to be a burden on them in multiple ways. The interviews revealed the women believed stress from their previous social duties played a role in their diagnosis.

A second finding showed women did not make enough time to care for themselves because of their obligations in managing the household and cooking for their family.

"They know how to manage diabetes but they feel that they cannot do it because they have so many other things they need to do," Park said in a statement. In addition, husbands and children generally disapproved of meals suitable for a woman with diabetes because of a lack of taste and many of the women said they didn't think the menus were feasible in the long-term, Park said.

A third finding was the women's prevailing feeling that if they were sick or couldn't perform their duties at home, they were a liability to the family.
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