High amounts of work related stress have been shown to raise the risk of type 2 diabetes by 45% in a study of over 5,000 people.
The research was carried out by researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München in Germany. 5,337 people, without type 2 diabetes at the start of the study period, were picked from the MONICA-KORA cohort study. Participants were aged between 29 and 66 years old and were monitored over an average of 12.7 years.
The researchers used the Karasek job content questionnaire to measure work strain. High job strain was marked by high psychological demands of the job combined with minimal elements of control or decision making. Examples of jobs with higher demand and lower control include waiting staff, garment makers and telephone operators.
The results showed that 291 of the participants went on to develop the metabolic syndromen, type 2 diabetes, and those with high job strain had a 45% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people with low job strain. The researchers noted that one in five workers was affected by high mental strain at work.
Lead researcher, Prof Karl-Heinz Ladwig, commented on the findings: “In view of the huge health implications of stress-related disorders, preventive measures to prevent common diseases such as diabetes should therefore also begin at this point.”

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