Working the night shift? It may raise your risk of diabetes

The study found that people working irregular or rotating shifts with usual night shifts were 44 percent more likely to have Type 2 diabetes.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Feb 13, 2018, 17:45 PM IST
Working the night shift? It may raise your risk of diabetes
(Representational image)

New Delhi: Researchers have warned that people who work the night shift are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, a precursor to cardiovascular diseases.

Different professions across the globe require people to work odd, sometimes bizarre shifts.

Various studies have shown and we're sure you have felt it too, that these shifts, especially the night shift, often tend to cause an imbalance within your system and lead to health issues.

Even though some may feel comfortable with nights shifts, your health is ultimately bearing the brunt of the changes in your body-clock and lifestyle.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose).

The study found that people working irregular or rotating shifts with usual night shifts were 44 percent more likely to have Type 2 diabetes.

In addition, compared to day workers, all shift workers were more likely to have Type 2 diabetes, except for permanent night shift workers, the researchers mentioned.

"We see a dose-response relationship between the frequency of night shift work and Type 2 diabetes, where the more often people do shift work, the greater their likelihood of having the disease, regardless of genetic predisposition," said Ceiine Vetter, Professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

"This helps us understand one piece of the puzzle: frequency of night shift work seems to be an important factor," Vetter added.

For the study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, the team examined data from more than 270,000 people, including 70,000 who provided in-depth lifetime employment information and a sub-group of more than 44,000 for whom genetic data were available.

More than 6,000 people in the sample population had Type 2 diabetes.

Using the information on more than 100 genetic variants that are associated with Type 2 diabetes, the research team developed a genetic risk score that they used to assign a value to each participant.

The results showed that those with the highest genetic risk scores were almost four times as likely to develop Type 2 diabetes compared to individuals who had lower genetic risk scores.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the global prevalence of diabetes has nearly doubled since 1980, rising from 4.7 percent to 8.5 percent in the adult population. The majority of people with diabetes are affected by Type 2 diabetes.

Many studies have previously associated night shifts with health conditions like obesity, obstruction in the body's ability to repair DNA damage, liver damage, and even cancer to name a few.

(With IANS inputs)