Extra working hours can increase diabetes risk in women as well as develop other health effects such as increased stress to higher rates of certain chronic diseases.
Working long hours – at least 45 hours – increases the risk of type 2 diabetes in women but appears to protect men from the disease, according to a new study published Monday in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.
Researchers analyzed data from 7,065 Canadian workers who were followed over 12 years. They wanted to look at the impact of working hours on diabetes risk in those workers.
They found that working 45 hours or more a week increased woman’s risk by 63 percent while decreased a man’s risk of the disease. After considering exercise, body-mass index, smoking, and alcohol intake, the effect was somewhat reduced.
The study also shows that working too many hours can cause other negative health consequences like heart problems. However, it’s not clear how the risk varies from gender differences, but it should be considered that what women do with their time off.
“If you think about all the unpaid work they do on their off-hours, like household chores for example, they simply do more than men, and that can be stressful, and stress negatively impacts your health,” said study co-author Mahee Gilbert-Ouimet, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto.
Another reality found which notes that women who work extra hours also likely to be in lower-paying jobs than men.
“Even when men and women do similar work, women earn less. Of course, that would impact women’s health. Think about the stress of working harder and getting less for it,” explained Gilbert-Ouimet. “It’s important for us to study women. They are still underevaluated in most areas of health, and it’s a real shame, because if we look closer, there are still big inequalities.”