Working Long Hours Can Raise the Risk of This Disease

Working less can lower a woman's risk of diabetes.

Surprisingly, men who worked longer hours did not have the same increased diabetes risk. Not eating a good diet or getting enough sleep can also be contributing factors to diabetes and could potentially increase in women that are working longer hours.

In the current study, national health survey data was used to monitor the health of 7,065 men and women (aged 35 to 74 years) over the course of 12 years (between 2003 and 2015).

Furthermore, longer working hours may trigger a chronic stress response that increases the risk of hormonal abnormalities and insulin resistance. One such study in Japan, published in 2016, saw a connection between diabetes risk and workers who labored for more than 45 hours of regular daytime schedule work. He's a senior scientist at the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto.

Gilbert-Ouimet says she hopes her team's study can lead to conversations about the role long work hours play in health, especially among women who are already at risk of diabetes for various other factors. Gilbert-Ouimet and her team did not find a similar breakdown of risk by skill level, but she notes that there were few cases of diabetes among those with lower skilled jobs, and therefore their study may not have had the statistical power to pick up a valid trend.

The fact that long work hours may be connected to diabetes isn't entirely surprising.

New research suggests that women who clock 45 or more hours a week have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than women who log 35 to 40 hours weekly.

There's now another study that adds to the growing understanding of how being overworked affects overall health. She also says that given the new normal in which smartphones keep everyone tethered to work, "it's a nice wake-up call to know what long hours can do to your body and to your health, and maybe force yourself to do a bit less and take care of yourself more".

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