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Are you on shift work? It could increase your risk of diabetes

Men are most at risk, a new study suggests.

Image: oatsy40 via Flickr/Creative Commons

SHIFT WORK COULD increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 9%, new research shows.

And this figure increases to 37% for men.

The observational findings, published today in BMJ’s Occupational & Environmental Medicine, analysed 12 international studies involving more than 226,500 participants.

It found people working in a rotating shift pattern, in which people work different shifts over the course of 24 hour cycle, were at the most risk – they were 42% more likely to have diabetes.

The researchers have suggested that this could be linked to its effect on sleeping patterns.

The increased risk in men could be down to a reputed disruption of the internal body clock, which controls daytime levels of testosterone.

“Other research has linked shift work to weight gain and increased appetite, both of which are risk factors for diabetes, and shift work may also disturb cholesterol levels and blood pressure,” the researchers added.

Type 2 diabetes is where the body still producers insulin, but it develops ‘insulin resistance’. While it is the most common form of the disease, the causes are not well understood.

Read: Portable insulin pumps prove better than insulin injections for type 2 diabetes >

More: Does ‘type 2 diabetes’ really exist? >

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Nicky Ryan

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