Individuals who perform poorly on measures of the executive function of inhibition have higher anxious arousal in comparison to those with better performance. High anxious arousal is associated with a pro-inflammatory response. Chronically high anxious arousal and inflammation increase one's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. We sought to evaluate anxious arousal and inflammation as underlying mechanisms linking inhibition with diabetes incidence. Participants (N = 835) completed measures of cognitive abilities, a self-report measure of anxious arousal, and donated blood to assess interleukin-6 (IL-6) and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Individuals with low inhibition were more likely to have diabetes than those with high inhibition due to the serial pathway from high anxious arousal to IL-6. Findings remained when entering other indicators of cognitive abilities as covariates, suggesting that inhibition is a unique cognitive ability associated with diabetes incidence. On the basis of our results, we propose several avenues to explore for improved prevention and treatment efforts for type 2 diabetes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry