DIET&FITNESS Published October15, 2014 By Staff Writer

Working Long Hours in Low-Paying Jobs Can Increase Diabetes Risk

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Not getting paid well and having to work long hours for it? You might increase your chances of developing diabetes, at least according to a recent London study.

The researchers found that people working for a low income job were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, particularly if they exceed 55 hours each week, compared to worming for regular hours. Interestingly, the research found that such increase was not observed among wealthier people.

According to lead author Mika Kivimäki of UK's University College London, workers who allot long hours in their low-paying jobs showed a 30 percent increase in type 2 diabetes risk. Kivimäki pointed out that a possible reason for this is that spending long hours at work limits the time for people to engage in health-restorative activities- physical activity and exercise, sufficient sleep, and a healthy diet.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States reveals that one in 10 people in the U.S. have diabetes; 30 percent of cases are undiagnosed. A big percentage of these cases are type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes.

Such disease develops when the body's cells are resistant to insulin, or the body does not produce enough. Insulin is in charge of providing blood sugar access to the cells of the body, for fuel and energy.

Past studies have discovered links between working long hours and diabetes risk, but Kivimäki and colleagues further discovered that such association is only true among low-income workers.

Research analysis involved data from four previously published and 19 unpublished studies which looked at the two variables. The combined studies involved over 20,000 participants from the U.S., Australia, Japan, and a number of European countries.

According to researchers Orfeu Buxton and Cassandra Okechukwu, the work hours themselves are not directly toxic, but what these long hours create or cause. Split shifts at work can strongly disrupt the circadian rhythm (body clock), which can slow down metabolism and cause the pancreas to give off insulin after meals. 

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