Women who work long hours may be at increased risk for diabetes, a new study has found.
Canadian researchers studied 7,065 workers, following their working hours and health over an average of 12 years. They recorded diabetes diagnoses beginning two years after the subjects enrolled in the study.
They found that compared to women who worked between 35 and 40 hours a week, those who worked 45 hours or more had a 51 percent increased risk of diabetes. But there was no effect of working hours on diabetes in men.
The study, in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, controlled for many other health and behavioral factors that could affect the development of diabetes, including age, ethnicity, body mass index, high blood pressure and extended sitting.
The lead author, Mahée Gilbert-Ouimet, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto, said that women probably work more hours than men, if all household chores and family responsibilities are taken into account.
“It’s not easy to reduce working hours, and sometimes it’s impossible,” she said. “But women should know that this is a factor that may be important, especially if they have other risk factors for diabetes.”