Published: 07/08/2014

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal links shift work with a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The risk is greatest among men and those with the rotating shift patterns common in industries like tourism, food processing and food packing.

The authors reviewed 12 international studies assessing association between shift work and diabetes risk.

The results showed that any period of shift work was associated with a 9% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with working normal office hours.

The heightened risk rose to 37% for men when combined with other factors such as shift schedule, body mass index, family history and physical activity levels.

“Many workers in the food and hotel sectors are employed under shift work arrangements and shift work is a hazard to be identified and managed. Negotiations between unions and employers can minimize hazards by the design of good shift arrangements and regular health screening”, commented IUF General Secretary Ron Oswald.