Working hours and diabetes

25 September 2014        

Diabetes test

In a study part-funded by us, scientists at University College London (UCL) have found that those working more than 55 hours per week doing a manual or low socioeconomic status job have around a 30 per cent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than co-workers who work a shorter week.

The study, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, analysed published and unpublished data from over 200,000 men and women and found that people working over 55 hours in lower socioeconomic jobs were at a 30 per cent increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared to their co-workers who worked the standard 35-40 hour week.

Having diabetes increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke so reducing that risk is essential.

Maureen Talbot
Senior Cardiac Nurse

Professor Mika Kivimäki and colleagues at University College London (UCL) pooled data from Europe, the USA, Japan and Australia and took into consideration factors such as smoking, physical activity, age, gender and obesity.

The study found no increase in diabetes risk for those who worked longer hours in higher status jobs.

Diabetes and your heart

Maureen Talbot, our Senior Cardiac Nurse said:

“The findings of this study support a link between working more than 55 hours a week and an increased risk of developing type two diabetes, but only in those people deemed to be in low socioeconomic groups. The study’s authors confirm more research into this finding is needed.

“Having diabetes increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke so reducing that risk is essential. If you are worried you may be at an increased risk have a chat with your GP.”

Researching diabetes and heart disease

We fund a range of research which is looking to explain the link between diabetes and heart disease, including funding scientists at the University of Leeds, who have already made breakthroughs in our understanding of the link between diabetes and coronary heart disease.

Like all the studies we fund, this research relies entirely on donations from the public.

Donate now to help us fund more life saving research.