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Is Working On Shifts a Diabetes Risk?

According to a study from Japan, people who work shifts are more likely to develop diabetes, regardless of their lifestyle, BMI, or prediabetes status.

Is Working On Shifts a Diabetes Risk?
Photo: Night Shift Nurse | InStyleHealth

Researchers conducted a prospective study with 17,515 Japanese workers aged 40–78 years to address the lack of data on how shift work may affect the development of type 2 diabetes, particularly among high-risk workers.

For around 8 years, the participants had yearly health tests during which they indicated whether or not they were currently working shifts. Fasting plasma glucose, random glucose, HbA1c, and self-reported usage of antidiabetic drugs were all used to determine diabetes.

There were 2,071 diabetic event cases over an 8.1-year follow-up period. Participants who worked shifts had significantly higher rates than those who did not work shifts.

Shift employment was linked to a 19% increased risk of diabetes (hazard ratio, 1.19, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 3–37), according to a Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. Demographic, cardiometabolic, and work-related characteristics were all taken into account while calculating the estimate.

After adjusting for lifestyle variables and BMI, shift employment was still linked with an increased risk, with no significant change in the estimate (HR, 1.16, 95 percent CI, 1–34).

The link was found among workers with prediabetes as well.


Source: Acta Diabetol 2021;58:1659-1664

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