Night-shift workers are at a significantly increased risk of impaired glucose metabolism, latest research has suggested.
A study in the journal Chronobiology International has concluded that, along with an association between shift-work and cardiovascular diseases, such work patterns can heighten the risk of impaired glucose metabolism, leaving employees potentially more vulnerable to the development of diabetes mellitus.
The 14-year study of more than 7,000 people found that shift work had a significantly detrimental effect on levels of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c).
The study’s findings were consistent with two cross-sectional studies on glucose tolerance that reported a significant relationship between shiftwork and the development of diabetes mellitus, it added.
“Unfortunately, shift-work seems to be a necessity of modern life,” said Michael Smolensky, co-editor of Chronobiology International.
“However, intelligent development of more health-preserving shift schedules together with efficient health screening and regular check-ups may be of considerable benefit in maintaining the health of this vulnerable group of workers,” he added.