Does your job put you at risk for diabetes?

If your job consists of shift work, especially rotating shifts, you may have a much higher risk of developing diabetes, according to a study published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Researchers looked at a body of work that included 12 international studies involving more than 226,000 participants, 14,600 of whom had diabetes.

Overall, the results showed shift work was associated with a 9 percent increased risk of developing diabetes compared with working normal office hours.

Rotating shift work, where individuals must work different periods of a 24-hour cycle on a regular basis, was associated with the highest diabetes risk, at 42 percent, and men seem to be most susceptible to the increased risk.

Why shift work increases diabetes risk

Researchers said they aren't entirely sure why shift work increases diabetes risk, but it could be a number of different factors.

Having an irregular sleep cycle or poor sleep quality have been linked to higher risk of diabetes, while other studies have linked shift work to weight gain and increased appetite – both factors that might increase risk for diabetes.

Since daytime levels of testosterone are regulated by the body's internal clock, it's possible that hormonal disruptions from shift work can also lead to insulin resistance, the authors said.

Source: British Medical Journal

Image credit: Suat Ema / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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