December 9, 2011
Working a few rotating night shifts a month can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health
The study examined two groups of women and found that those who worked regular hours were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, the longer women worked on rotating shifts, the higher the risk.
Published in the December issue of PLoS Medicine, the study defined rotating shift work as working three or more nights a month, plus alternating between days and evenings. The first study examined 69,000 women between 42 and 67 and the second followed data collected from nearly 108,000 women.
The study was held over a 20-year period and discovered that rotating shifts increase risk of type 2 diabetes. Women who did one to two years of shift work had a 5 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women who did not work rotating shifts. For women working rotating shifts between three and nine years, the risk increased by 20 percent and working between 10 and 19 years increased risk by 40 percent.
Although researchers don't claim to know why shift work increases the risk, they suggest that it could be because shift work disturbs the body's circadian rhythm. This can upset the body's ability to balance energy which leads to higher levels of glucose and insulin resistance, reports Gantdaily.com
Researcher also found that night-shift workers tended to smoke more. Other factors that could lead to higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes include the possibilities of more demanding work and higher stress levels for shift workers.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
The following tips from WebMD
can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. Although some risk factors like age, ethnicity, and family history can't be changed, the following are in your power and can reduce your risk.
- Adopting a Health Lifestyle: It has been demonstrated that eating a healthier diet and increasing physical activity with or without weight loss can decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Diabetes Medication: For people with impaired glucose tolerance, certain medications can help prevent the development of the disease.