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Long Work Hours Tied to Higher Diabetes Risk in Women

05 July 2018

Women who worked for longer hours were associated with almost 70 per cent increased risk of diabetes as compared to men or women who worked for 30 to 40 hours a week.

Carried out by researchers at the Centre de recherche FRQS du CHU de Québec, the Institute for Work & Health, the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, St Michael's Hospital, Université Laval, and the University of Toronto, along with Monash University, Australia, the new study followed 7,065 Canadian workers between the ages of 35 and 74 for a period of 12 years. Working hours were divided into four groups - 15-34 hours, 35-40 hours, 41-44 hours and 45+ hours.

However, the men working for longer hours did not tend to experience a higher risk of developing diabetes.

Also, while men working long hours are more likely to hold high-skilled and well-paid occupations, women working long hours tend to be in low-paid jobs with less chance of lowering their work hours. Poor quality sleep paired with stress at work can raise risk for diabetes and obesity.

It is not yet certain why it has only been observed in women but further studies have shown that it might have to do with the fact that women do not stop working even after they leave the office as they have to take on other responsibilities at home.

During the study period, 10% of participants developed type 2 diabetes, with diagnoses more common among men, older people and obese people.

Among those who worked 45 or more hours a week the risk was significantly higher (63%) than it was among those who worked between 35 and 40 hours.

All the women out there, here's a good reason for you to work less and relax more. Flaxseeds help in reducing the chances of heart complications and also the risk of strokes linked with diabetes. "Think about the stress of working harder and getting less for it", explained Gilbert-Ouimet.

These included age, sex, marital status, parenthood, ethnicity, place of birth and of residence, any long-term health conditions, lifestyle, and weight (BMI). They wanted to look at the impact of working hours on diabetes risk in those workers.

Some researchers also claim that there is an economic argument for employers in reducing work hours to less than 40 hours a week. Less pay impacts their health and increases the stress level compared to the men. Additionally, there was no distinction between type 1 and type 2 diabetes during the assessment of health records.

Long Work Hours Tied to Higher Diabetes Risk in Women