"Even when men and women do similar work, women earn less". Diabetes placed a burden on the global economy of U.S. $1.31 trillion in the year 2015 alone.
Researchers tracked participants, who were all actively working with no history of diabetes at the start of the study, for 12 years.
They noted that previous research has indicated that long work hours can increase the tendency for unhealthy behaviours and also lead to poor mental health and sleep problems.
While the reason behind this is still unclear, experts believe that if we count the unpaid work that women do like the household chores after coming back from work, women actually end up doing more work than men add more stress to their lives. During the study, about one out of ten people developed diabetes, mainly men, older and obese. Subjects were grouped into 4 time bands: 45+ hours, 41-44 hours, 35-40 hours, and 15-34 hours, with a range of factors considered including ethnicity, sex, age, place of birth, place of residence, health conditions, BMI, parenthood, and lifestyle.
Type 2 diabetes is on the rise. They concluded that their findings could "improve prevention and orient policy making, as it could prevent numerous cases of diabetes and diabetes-related chronic diseases". The effect, however, was not found in women who work 30 to 40 hours per week, suggesting that this amount of work may curb the risk of the disease.
The researchers found that 63 per cent higher risk of diabetes in women who indulged in work about 45 hours or more compared to those women who worked about 35 and 40 hours a week. "Working long hours is not a healthy thing to do", said Peter Smith, the study's lead author who's a senior scientist at the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto. But a limitation to the current analysis included the fact that work hours were only measured at one point during the 12-year follow-up; any possible employment changes during this time were left unaccounted for.
Also, while men working long hours are more likely to hold high-skilled and well-paid occupations, women working long hours tend to be in low-paid jobs with less chance of lowering their work hours.