Working for 45-plus hours a week associated with type 2 diabetes risk in women

Jack Woodfield
Tue, 06 Aug 2019
Working for 45-plus hours a week associated with type 2 diabetes risk in women
Women who work 45 hours or more a week are being urged to consider working less to reduce their type 2 diabetes risk.

Canadian researchers report a 63% greater risk of women who worked 45 or more hours developing type 2 diabetes compared to women working between 35-40 hours.

The findings also revealed no such heightened risk among women who worked between 30-40 hours every week.

The researchers reviewed 7,065 workers aged between 35-74 years who were tracked from 2003-2015, with the employees both paid and unpaid categorised into groups covering 15-34 hours, 35-40 hours, 41-44 hours and 45 or more hours.

A selection of other factors were also considered including age, marital status, ethnicity, birth place, any health condition they had, weight and lifestyle.

Researchers also took into account whether the work was desk-based, active or shift-based, as well as the amount of work completed in the previous year.

According to the results, one in 10 participants went on to develop type 2 diabetes. Overall, developing type 2 diabetes was shown to be more common in men, older people and obese people.

Despite more diagnoses occurring in men, the length of the working week was not associated with type 2 risk among males in the study. The analysis actually revealed that type 2 diabetes risk in men tended to be reduced in those who worked excessively.

But in women who worked 45 or more hours there was a 63% greater risk compared to women working between 35-40 hours. This risk was only slightly reduced when other contributing factors were considered.

The researchers concluded: "Considering the rapid and substantial increase of diabetes prevalence in Canada and worldwide, identifying modifiable risk factors such as long work hours is of major importance to improve prevention and orient policy making, as it could prevent numerous cases of diabetes and diabetes related chronic diseases."

The study was published on the BMJ Diabetes Research &Care journal.
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