Work Stress May Raise Type 2 Diabetes Risk

High amounts of work related stress have been shown to raise the risk of type 2 diabetes by 45% in a study of over 5,000 people.

As the team of scientists headed by Dr. Cornelia Huth and Prof. Karl-Heinz Ladwig has now discovered that individuals who are under a high level of pressure at work and at the same time perceive little control over the activities they perform face an about 45 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who are subjected to less stress at their workplace.

The researchers found that one in five people were affected by high levels of stress in their workplace. “By that, scientists do not mean ‘normal job stress’ but rather the situation in which the individuals concerned rate the demands made upon them as very high, and at the same time they have little scope for maneuver or for decision making. We covered both these aspects in great detail in our surveys,” Ladwig said in a press release.

The scientists examined data prospectively collected from more than 5,300 employed individuals aged between 29 and 66 who took part in a population-based cohort study.

At the beginning of the study, none of the participants had diabetes, while in the post-observation period, which covered an average of 13 years, almost 300 of them were diagnosed with type II diabetes.

As discussed in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, the increase in risk in work-related stress was identified independently of classic risk factors such as obesity, age, or gender.

“In conclusion, we show a modest but robust association between job strain and the development of type 2 diabetes irrespective of lifestyle risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity,” the authors write.