Healthcare workers and others who work the night shift, especially rotating night shifts, are significantly more likely to have Type 2 diabetes than those who work only days, this study finds.
The analysis of more than 270,000 people also found that the more nights employees work, the greater their odds of having the disease, whether they are genetically predisposed to it or not. For instance, employees who worked eight or more night shifts per month were 36% more likely to have diabetes than day workers. Those who worked only nights showed no increased incidence of diabetes.
The findings represent another puzzle piece in the quest towards healthier work schedules, the authors say.
OBJECTIVE To examine the effects of past and current night shift work and genetic type 2 diabetes vulnerability on type 2 diabetes odds. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In the UK Biobank, we examined associations of current ( N = 272,214) and lifetime ( N = 70,480) night shift work exposure with type 2 diabetes risk (6,770 and 1,191 prevalent cases, respectively).