Shift workers at higher risk of diabetes, study finds

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Shift workers at higher risk of diabetes, study finds Empty Shift workers at higher risk of diabetes, study finds

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:53 am

Research finds shift work carries 9% higher risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in men and those with rotating shift patterns

Medics, police officers and firefighters could be at increased risk of developing diabetes, experts have said after research linked shift work to a heightened risk of being diagnosed with the condition.

Compared with normal office hours, working shifts carries a 9% higher risk of developing diabetes, the study found.

Previous research has linked shift work to weight gain and increased appetite – both of which are risk factors for diabetes, the authors said.

The risk appears to be highest among men and those who work rotating shift patterns, according to the study published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Researchers examined 12 studies involving more than 225,000 people, of whom almost 15,000 had diabetes.

While the overall risk of developing diabetes was 9% among shift workers, the authors found that men who worked shifts were 37% more likely to develop the condition.

And those who worked rotating shift patterns, in which they regularly worked different parts of the 24-hour cycle, had a 42% higher risk than those who worked a fixed shift pattern, they said.

Previous studies have linked shift work to a variety of health problems including digestive problems, some cancers and heart issues, but this is the first study that links diabetes to occupations that require abnormal working hours.

"Shift work is associated with a significantly increased risk of diabetes mellitus (DM), especially in men and groups with rotating shifts," researchers said.

"Given the increasing prevalence of shift work worldwide and the heavy economic burden of DM, the results of our study provide practical and valuable clues for the prevention of DM and a study of its aetiology."

Commenting on the research, Professor Nick Wareham, director of the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, said: "This new meta-analysis provides a useful summary across previously published studies of the magnitude of the link between shift working and type 2 diabetes. It suggests that there may be a moderately sized link, which is slightly stronger in men.

"The study can't exclude the possibility that the results are explained by other risk factors for diabetes that are also linked to shift working. If it were shown that it is shift working itself that has a link to diabetes, then the key question would be to identify what interventions could be put in place to alleviate the risks in those who have to work shifts."

In the UK, about 2.9 million people have diabetes, with about 90% of cases being type 2. There are also thought to be around 850,000 people with undiagnosed diabetes.

Dr Alasdair Rankin, director of research at charity Diabetes UK, said: "This study combines evidence from previous research to suggest people who do lots of shift work may be at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, especially for men and people who work rotating shifts.

"The exact reasons for this are unclear and the evidence that it is the shift work that is causing an increase to risk of type 2 diabetes is not conclusive. Nonetheless, these findings suggest that shift workers need to be aware of their personal risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

"They can do this by taking a type 2 diabetes risk assessment, either online or in their local pharmacy. The best way to reduce your risk of type 2 is to maintain a healthy weight through regular physical activity and by eating a healthy, balanced diet."

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/25/shift-workers-higher-risk-type-2-diabetes-study

Diet won't be of much help if it's the messing with the body clock that is causing the diabetes in these cases. I know three people with type 2 diabetes, they are all slim and all eat healthily, so there has to be another reason as well as diet, which obviously can cause some of it.

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Post by Raggamuffin on Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:21 pm

If they're eating too much, they can't blame it on working at night. However, working at night is unnatural. People should be up and out in natural daylight and sleeping during the darkness.

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Post by Guest on Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:16 pm

One of the things that the previous study did was show that working shifts actually increases your appetite as your body tries to compensate for working when it should be sleeping. However, I think this study shows that regardless of that, the actual shift patterns increase the risk of diabetes to a significant amount, regardless of diet, he is is saying that shift workers will have to be doubly careful about their diet, even though, poor things, their bodies are producing hormones to urge them to eat more. One way or another, shift work is really unhealthy. Been linked to heart disease before I believe.

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Post by Raggamuffin on Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:57 pm

It annoys me that people have to do things which harm their health just to earn a living - working at night, doing repetitive things which cause RSI, being on their feet all the time, or sitting down all the time staring at a screen. It's time that people led more natural lives IMO.

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