Published: Thu, July 05, 2018
Medical | By

Extra Working Hours Can Increase Diabetes Risk In Women

Extra Working Hours Can Increase Diabetes Risk In Women

For the current investigation, the researchers tracked the health of over 7,000 Canadian workers between the ages of 35 and 74 over a period of 12 years using medical records and national health survey data. "Also, the results of one study which investigated the relationship between several work factors and fetal death76 indicated an increased rate of abortion in women working 46 or more hours a week".

They found that working 45 hours or more a week increased woman's risk by 63 percent while decreased a man's risk of the disease.

Co-author of the study and postdoctoral fellow, Mahee Gilbert-Ouimet from the University of Toronto said in a statement, "If you think about all the unpaid work they do on their off-hours, like household chores for example, they simply do more than men, and that can be stressful, and stress negatively impacts your health". Working for long hours could also increase the risk of heart issues. There are studies which labelled this "over-work-under-pay diabetes risk" as controversial.

Previous research has indicated an association between long working hours and increased diabetes risk.

Another potential reason for the gender difference may have to do with the type of work men reported; in the study, about a third of the men working long hours said they spent that time doing a combination of sitting, standing and walking, compared to only 8% of the women who worked longer hours. The first group was with 15 - 34 hours, the second one 35 - 40 hours, the third 41 - 44 hours, and the last one 45 or more hours. 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.


These included age; sex; marital status; parenthood; ethnicity; place of birth and of residence; any long term health conditions; lifestyle; and weight (BMI).

Though research papers in the past have shown how stress wears down our resilience to insulin, not much research has been conducted on how long work hours may lead to diabetes.

Some researchers also claim that there is an economic argument for employers in reducing work hours to less than 40 hours a week.

Every tenth participant of the project during the time of observation fell ill with type 2 diabetes. Although men who consistently worked for longer hours did not suffer from the risk of diabetes.

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