The Times

Gerry Gajadharsingh writes:

“Whilst a high glycaemic load carbohydrate diet is probably the main risk factor in Type 11 Diabetes, the research below suggests that long working hours in women are likely to also be a contributory factor. Raised levels of stress in the short term tends to raise cortisol (one of our stress hormones). Cortisol also tends to raise Insulin (the hormone that regulates blood sugar). If this continues for a long period, chronic stress, we can become resistant to insulin, allowing diabetes to develop. Inadequate time in our lives is a main cause of stress for many people, sometimes causing us to choose unhealthier foods, it’s a vicious circle.

The interesting question of course if why this does not seem to apply to men?”


Women who work more than 45 hours a week are 63 per cent more likely to get diabetes, according to researchers who say this may result from the stress of looking after a family as well as holding down a demanding job.

No such link was seen in men working long hours, who, if anything, were less likely to get ill.

Canadian researchers looked at data on 7,000 people aged 35 to 74. About one in ten of them developed diabetes over 12 years. Compared with women working 35 to 40 hours a week, those working more than 45 were 63 per cent more likely to develop diabetes after adjustment for age, skills and other chronic conditions. The link was no longer significant after adjusting for weight, suggesting part of the link may be due to unhealthy eating.

There was no significant difference among men, with signs of a lower risk in men who worked harder. “While men working long hours often hold . . . well-paid occupations, women working such hours predominate in low-paid jobs. Working long hours might lead to diabetes through a chronic stress response mechanism,” researchers from the University Hospital of Quebec and the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto wrote in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

About four million people in Britain have diabetes.