Job loss worry could contribute to type 2 diabetes risk

Benedict Jephcote
Wed, 05 Oct 2016
Job loss worry could contribute to type 2 diabetes risk
People who worry about losing their job might be at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research.

New cases of the condition were 19 per cent higher in those who felt insecure about their employment, when compared to people who felt safe in their job.

The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Bristol and University College London.

Data from 19 studies were compared which involved a total of 140,825 adults in the US, Australia and Europe. At the time of signing up they were employed and did not have diabetes.

Although the research does not prove that worrying about job loss can cause type 2 diabetes, lead author Dr Jane Ferrie said it could be a contributory factor.

She said: "In an ideal world, the sort of thing I’d like to see come out of this study is a reduction in job insecurity and an increase in secure job contracts and reasonable wages."

At the beginning of each study, all participants were asked if they were fearful of losing their source of income in the future. The findings varied from 6 per cent to 40 per cent of respondents saying yes to the question about their job insecurity.

On average across a decade, the rate of new diabetes rates annually in the research trials ranged from about 9 for every 10,000 participants to about 85 for every 10,000.

The findings suggested that those who feared about losing their job were 19 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes during the follow-up period, having taken age and sex into account.

Previously a link has been shown between job insecurity and higher body mass index (BMI) and heart attacks.

Speaking to Reuters Health, Dr Ferrie said: "This is not going to tell any individual about their risk. We need a population health approach and to reduce people's exposure to job insecurity."

The findings were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
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