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Long hours at the office are linked to an increased risk of diabetes in women, according to new research from The BMJ.

The study examined the incidence of diabetes among 7,065 workers over a 12-year period in Ontario, Canada, and found that women working more than 45 hours a week had a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes than those working 35 to 40 hours a week.

The research was published today in BMJ Diabetes Research & Care and was simultaneously shared as a case on Figure 1 as follows:

Clocking up 45+ working hours/week linked to heightened risk of diabetes in women

Long work hours have recently been linked with diabetes but more high-quality studies are needed. We evaluated the relationship between long work hours and the incidence of diabetes among 7065 workers over a 12-year period in Ontario, Canada.

Data from respondents (aged 35–74) to the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey were prospectively linked to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan database for physician services and the Canadian Institute for Health Information Discharge Abstract Database for hospital admissions. Our sample consisted of actively employed participants with no previous diagnoses of diabetes. Cox proportional hazard regression models were performed to evaluate the relationship between long work hours (≥45 hours per week) and the incidence of diabetes.

Long work hours did not increase the risk of diabetes among men. However, women usually working ≥45 hours per week had a significantly higher risk of diabetes than women working 35-40 hours (HR: 1.63 (95% CI 1.04 to 2.57)). This was slightly attenuated when adjusted for smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and BMI.

Working ≥45 hours per week was associated with an increased incidence of diabetes among women but not men. Identifying modifiable risk factors such as long work hours is of major importance to guide prevention strategies and policy making.

This study was shared on Figure 1 by @BMJ_company, the official account of BMJ. As one of the world’s leading medical publishers, BMJ launched a Figure 1 account in 2017 to reach the millions of healthcare professionals who use the platform.

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