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Working Long Hours for a Low Wage May Increase Risk of Diabetes

A recent study suggests that people who work for more than 55 hours per week doing manual labor or other low income work are at a 30% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The researchers for this study examined data from four published studies and 19 studies with unpublished data. The studies included a total of 222,120 men and women from the USA, Europe, Japan, and Australia. All of the participants were followed for an average of 7.6 years.

The researchers initially found no overall difference in the risk of developing type-2 diabetes between all participants who worked 35 to 40 hours per week and those who worked more than 55 hours. However, when they grouped the participants by socioeconomic status, they found that people who were working 55 hours or more in low socioeconomic jobs were 30% more likely to develop type-2 diabetes, even after controling for age, sex, and obesity.

Researchers from University College London conducted the study. It was published on September 25, 2014, in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

A healthy diet and regular exercise are very important for reducing the risk of developing diabetes, regardless of a person’s socioeconomic status. Previous studies suggest that the antioxidants found in coffee, a compound called resveratrol that’s found in red wine, and omega-3s found primarily in fish may also help.

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