work hours and diabetes

Study: Long Work Hours and Diabetes in Women

Is there a connection between long work hours and diabetes in women?

Helping employees manage or prevent diabetes is an important function of well-run workplace wellness programs that seek to improve overall health and reduce health costs.

We have noted the positive effects of exercise on diabetes management. MedPage Today reported that “patients with type 2 diabetes who partook in 6 weeks of the high-intensity exercise program CrossFit reported weight loss, improved cardiovascular measures, and had significantly increased insulin sensitivity.”

This could provide workplace wellness programs new ways to engage employees in fitness, offering a new format and additional linkage between exercise and chronic disease management.

The study in Experimental Physiology is titled “Functional high intensity exercise training ameliorates insulin resistance and cardiometabolic risk factors in type 2 diabetes.”

Now a new study questions the negative role that excessive work hours may have on diabetes among women.

The study, published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, is titled “Adverse effect of long work hours on incident diabetes in 7065 Ontario workers followed for 12 years.”

The objective: “According to the International Diabetes Federation, the most important challenge for prevention is now to identify social and environmental modifiable risk factors of diabetes. In this regard, long work hours have recently been linked with diabetes, but more high-quality prospective studies are needed. We evaluated the relationship between long work hours and the incidence of diabetes among 7065 workers over a 12-year period in Ontario, Canada.”

The authors not that “long work hours did not increase the risk of developing diabetes among men.”

However, “among women, those usually working 45 hours or more per week had a significantly higher risk of diabetes than women working between 35 and 40 hours per week. The effect was slightly attenuated when adjusted for the potentially mediating factors which are smoking, leisure time physical activity, alcohol consumption and body mass index.”

The conclusion: “Working 45 hours or more per week was associated with an increased incidence of diabetes among women, but not men. Identifying modifiable risk factors such as long work hours is of major importance to improve prevention strategies and orient policy making.”