A New Risk Of Diabetes For Women
Working too many hours and long shifts appears to increase the risk of diabetes among women, but not men. A study from Canada found that women who worked 45 or more hours per week (especially those with children under 12 at home) had a 51 percent higher risk of developing diabetes. No such risk showed up among women who worked 30 to 40 hours per week.
The new findings come from investigators who tracked the health of 7,065 Canadians ages 35 to 74 for 12 years. The increased diabetes risk remained even after the researchers adjusted for smoking, physical activity levels, alcohol consumption and body mass index. Because this was an observational study, no cause could be established, although the investigators suggested that women likely work even longer than 45 hours when their responsibilities at home are taken into account. Another possibility: the researchers suggested that long working hours might prompt a chronic stress response in the body, which could increase the risk of hormonal abnormalities and insulin resistance. They also reported that about one-third of the men in the study who worked long hours spent much of their workday standing and walking and noted that the physical activity may help explain the overall lower risk seen among men. Only eight percent of the women working longer hours performed as much physical activity on the job as did the men.
Maheé Gilbert-Ouimet et al, “Adverse effect of long work hours on incident diabetes in 7065 Ontario workers followed for 12 years.” BMJ Diabetes Research and Care, July 2, 2018, doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2017-000496
Also in this week’s bulletin: