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Long Work Hours Tied to Higher Diabetes Risk in Women

Association not seen in men who worked 45+ hours in a week

  • by Kristen Monaco, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Women who work long hours may be at a heightened risk for diabetes, a new study found.

Specifically, those who worked ≥45 hours in 1 week reported a significantly higher risk for developing incident diabetes compared with women who worked 35-40 hours each week (HR 1.63, 95% CI 1.04-2.57), according to Mahée Gilbert-Ouimet, PhD candidate, of Centre de recherche FRQS in Quebec, and colleagues.

Instead, men who worked more hours tended to have a slightly lower risk of incident diabetes, although this wasn’t statistically significant.

“The deleterious effect of long work hours observed among women of this study was robust to adjustment for sociodemographic and socioeconomic characteristics, other work-related exposures, and health conditions including hypertension, arthritis, and anxiety symptoms,” the authors explained. However, they added that these risk estimates were “slightly attenuated” after additional adjustments for smoking, leisure time physical activity, alcohol consumption (HR 1.58, 95% CI 1.00-2.49) and BMI (HR 1.51, 95% CI 0.93-2.45).

The study included data on 7,065 Canadian workers followed over the course of 12 years. The researchers defined incident diabetes as a hospital admission where a diagnosis of diabetes was given, or two physician service claims with a diabetes diagnosis occurring within 2 years of each other. Hours worked per week were stratified across four categories — 15-34 hours, 25-40 hours, 41-44 hours, and ≥45 hours worked each week. No other categories of average weekly work hours showed any significant associated with incident diabetes.

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