Shift Work May Raise Diabetes Risk

Meta-analysis of observational studies shows particularly high risk for men.
Meta-analysis of observational studies shows particularly high risk for men.

Shift work is associated with an increased risk of diabetes mellitus (DM), according to research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Yong Gan, MD, of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 12 observational studies with 28 independent reports; 226,652 participants were involved, including 14,595 patients with DM.

Having any prior exposure to shift work was associated with a significant 9% increased risk of DM in adjusted analyses. Among men, shift work was associated with a significant 37% increased risk of DM; among women, shift work was associated with a significant 9% increased risk. Compared with typical daytime schedules, all shift work schedules, except for mixed shifts and evening shifts, were associated with increased risk of DM, and the difference between these shift work schedules was significant.

"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 etiology," the authors concluded.

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