Research/studies Worker health and wellness

Study links long hours in low-wage jobs to type 2 diabetes risk

London – People who work long hours at manual and other “low socioeconomic status jobs” may have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study from University College London.

Researchers examined 23 studies involving more than 222,120 men and women in the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia. They initially found no difference for risk of type 2 diabetes among people who worked more than 55 hours per week and those who worked 35 to 40 hours a week.

However, workers in manual labor or other low socioeconomic status jobs who logged at least 55 hours per week had an approximately 30 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with employees who worked 35 to 40 hours. The risk remained high when researchers included smoking, physical activity, age, gender and obesity as risk factors.

The connection between long hours and diabetes risk could be due to “disruptive schedules that leave little time” for activities such as sleeping, relaxing and exercise, researchers said in a press release.

The study was published online Sept. 25 in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.