Risk of Diabetes in Women – Does Shiftwork Give you Diabetes?

Does Shiftwork Give you Diabetes?

Risk of Diabetes in WomenRisk of Diabetes in Women– Does shiftwork give you Diabetes? This is something that I have thought about when visiting a hospital late at night. The number of overweight to obese nurses that were on duty that evening was astounding.

It seems though not only nurses are victims of eating poorly while on work but also for all shift workers there seems to be a real risk indeed.

Risk of Diabetes in Women – Study

This theory is back up by a recent study, which went on to report back that: –

“Women who worked a rotating night shift had an increased risk of type 2 diabetes that was not completely explained by an increase in body mass index (BMI), results of a prospective study showed.

Compared with women who did not rotate at least three nights a month, those who had less than 10 years of shift work under their belts saw a 5% excess risk for type 2 diabetes.

That risk climbed to 40% after a decade of shift work, according to Frank Hu, MD, PhD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard School of Medicine in Boston, and colleagues”.

Risk of Diabetes in WomenWhy do you think this happens to shift workers is it because that they fail to have proper choices of food on the graveyard shift? Or is it because that the body clock is out of whack doing work when you ought to be sleeping?

Perhaps because there is an abundance of sugar laden food choices in the way of snack machines that is chosen to give the body a sugar hit to keep them awake and get them through a slump when the body would normally be sleeping at this time of night?

“In a secondary analysis, they found that night shift work was also associated with an elevated risk for obesity and excessive weight gain during the follow-up period. Again, each five-year increase in shift work was linked with an increase of 0.17 units in BMI and 0.45 kg in weight.”

“Limitations of this study were the small sample size of diabetic women and the fact that not many women had been shift workers for more than two decades. Also, misclassification of diabetes was possible because of self-reporting.”

“They suggested that, beyond BMI, a reason for the link between shift work and type 2 diabetes might be “chronic misalignment between the endogenous circadian timing system and the behavior cycles.” This misalignment has been pegged as a reason for metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, including increases in glucose and insulin, they wrote.”

The risk of diabetes in women study came back with the following recommendations: –

“They suggested that in an increasingly “24/7” society, efforts need to be made to prevent type 2 diabetes among shift workers by promoting healthy lifestyle and weight control. Also, prediabetic and diabetic employees need to be identified early and treated accordingly.”

I really believe that the study did not really uncover anything major that you and I did not know and what study should follow is the duty of care that the employers have to keep employees work fit. It would be interesting to find out for instance:

• Were vending machines that are laden with sugar items replaced with non- fattening snack choices?
• Were there promotions within the work place to encourage healthier eating?
• Enough food preparation areas.
• Counseling made available or rebate for dietician services.

Perhaps this study is enough to convince employers that to keep their employees work fit they will in future need to walk around the work places to see how they can make gradual changes to enhance the work area.



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