Recent research suggests that shift workers carry a nine per cent higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Males and those with rotating shift patterns were found to be most at risk. A report published in The Guardian suggests those in the emergency services could be at an increased risk due to the shift work they undertake.
The research involved examining data from 12 studies, which involved results from over 225,000 individuals. Around 15,000 of those included in the survey were living with diabetes.
Shift work appears to be linked to weight gain and an increased appetite, which are both considered risk factors for the development of diabetes.
Men who worked shifts were most at risk, at around 37 per cent more likely to develop the condition. On top of that, those working rotating shift patterns and regularly seeing different hours of the day or night were 42 per cent more likely than those working specific fixed shifts.
While this is the first study that has looked at diabetes, previously shift working has been linked to a number of different illnesses and diseases, including cancer, heart issues, and digestive problems.
In the UK there are thought to be around 850,000 people living with diabetes that has not been diagnosed. 2.9 million people in this country alone have diabetes – 90 per cent of which is type 2.
The best way to reduce the risk of diabetes is to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.