Evidence of Stress and Diabetes in Indigenous Peoples of Canada

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Leshawn Benedict
Mahidi Abidi
Harvir Sandhu
Allyson Gillespie
Qi Xue
Jessica Hill
Gerald McKinley



The health outcome examined by this scoping review explores the evidence relating stress and diabetes within Indigenous communities of Canada. It has been shown previously that the rates of diabetes in Indigenous populations in Canada are approximately 3 to 5 times higher than non-indigenous people of Canada. Diabetes can be caused by chronic stress but there is limited research conducted within Indigenous communities of Canada. A large proportion of Indigenous communities in Canada have experienced high levels of stress through intersectionality and intergenerational trauma. Considering Indigenous people of Canada are among the most high-risk populations for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and many stressors affect this population, this paper sets out to assess the current academic literature available to examine the relationship between stress and diabetes in Indigenous populations.  Regarding the relationship between stress and diabetes in Indigenous people of Canada, three key findings were identified: the need for community involvement and decolonized approaches, holistic coping mechanisms, and the emphasis on diet and physical activity as the main causal links to stress