Shift work increases diabetes risk among black women workers


Black women working night shifts have an increased risk of developing diabetes, US research has suggested.

The Black Women’s Health Study, by academics at Boston University, found that those who worked night shifts were “significantly” more likely to develop diabetes than those who have never done so.

The increased risk was more pronounced in younger women than older women, it added.

The study, published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, concluded that working night shifts for 10 or more years, compared with never having worked in this way, was associated with a 39% higher risk of diabetes among women aged under 50, compared with a 17% higher risk in women aged over 50.

A separate UK study, meanwhile, has argued that shift workers are more likely to report “fair” or “bad” general health than those not
working shifts.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) “Health survey for England” report concluded that 28% of men and women working shifts were more likely to rate their health in this way, compared with 21% of male and 23% of female non-shift workers.

Shift workers were also more likely to report having a limiting long-standing illness (25% of men and 28% of women) than non-shift workers (19% of men and 24% of women), the HSCIC added.

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