Diabetes Risk way Higher for Women Working for 45 hours or More/Week

The rapidly rising prevalence of diabetes as well as its mortality in young adults is a global health burden, especially in low- and middle-income countries. In developed countries, the substantial morbidity of the chronic disease has led policy makers and health providers to address modifiable risk factors– social and environmental—with an aim to facilitate prevention. Though men overall have higher risk of being diagnosed with diabetes than women but it is other gender who are more prone to suffering with the diseases if they don’t regulate the working hours per week.

In particular, the risk is significantly higher for women who work for more than 45 hours a week compared to those working 35–40 hours per week. Surprisingly, in the study, long work hours showed no noticeable impact on men developing the condition. This finding forms the part of a 12-year international study by a team of researchers in Canada.

The study was published recently in the journal BMJ Diabetes Research & Care and was conducted during 2003–2015 among as many 7065 workers to evaluate the link between work hours and the incidence of diabetes.

Study took into Account Wide Spectrum of Workplace Factors and Health Conditions

The researchers are affiliated to institutes of different countries, including from Institute for Work & Health and University of Toronto. The study included a range of factors of respondents such as marital status, sex, parenthood, and ethnicity, as well as factored in potentially hazardous ones such as basal mass index, smoking, leisure time physical activity, and alcohol consumption. Of note, the study also took into account any long- term health problems, their lifestyles, and also made comprehensive factoring of workplace factors.

No Obvious Cause for Gender Difference in Increased Risk of Diabetes for Women

The study grouped the respondents in different work hour slots and 3,502 women participated. The cumulative incidence of diabetes (CDI) for women working for 45 hours or more was found to be 8.5%, while it was only 7.2% in the 41-44 work hour category. This effect wasn’t noticed in men. On the contrary, the risk measured in CDI reduced markedly for men who worked more than 45 hours than those in less-hours category. While the study didn’t posit any definitive cause for the gender difference, the researchers opined that this may be attributed to the longer working hours they spend in household chores and other family responsibilities.

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