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Long working hours, socioeconomic status, and the risk of incident type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of published and unpublished data from 222 120 individuals
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2015 (English)In: The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, ISSN 2213-8587, Vol. 3, no 1, 27-34 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Working long hours might have adverse health effects, but whether this is true for all socioeconomic status groups is unclear. In this meta-analysis stratified by socioeconomic status, we investigated the role of long working hours as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Methods: We identified four published studies through a systematic literature search of PubMed and Embase up to April 30, 2014. Study inclusion criteria were English-language publication; prospective design (cohort study); investigation of the effect of working hours or overtime work; incident diabetes as an outcome; and relative risks, odds ratios, or hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs, or sufficient information to calculate these estimates. Additionally, we used unpublished individual-level data from 19 cohort studies from the Individual-Participant-Data Meta-analysis in Working-Populations Consortium and international open-access data archives. Effect estimates from published and unpublished data from 222 120 men and women from the USA, Europe, Japan, and Australia were pooled with random-effects meta-analysis.

Findings: During 1·7 million person-years at risk, 4963 individuals developed diabetes (incidence 29 per 10 000 person-years). The minimally adjusted summary risk ratio for long (≥55 h per week) compared with standard working hours (35–40 h) was 1·07 (95% CI 0·89–1·27, difference in incidence three cases per 10 000 person-years) with significant heterogeneity in study-specific estimates (I2=53%, p=0·0016). In an analysis stratified by socioeconomic status, the association between long working hours and diabetes was evident in the low socioeconomic status group (risk ratio 1·29, 95% CI 1·06–1·57, difference in incidence 13 per 10 000 person-years, I2=0%, p=0·4662), but was null in the high socioeconomic status group (1·00, 95% CI 0·80–1·25, incidence difference zero per 10 000 person-years, I2=15%, p=0·2464). The association in the low socioeconomic status group was robust to adjustment for age, sex, obesity, and physical activity, and remained after exclusion of shift workers.

Interpretation: In this meta-analysis, the link between longer working hours and type 2 diabetes was apparent only in individuals in the low socioeconomic status groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 3, no 1, 27-34 p.
National Category
Endocrinology and Diabetes
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-103231DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70178-0ISI: 000353030400022PubMedID: 25262544OAI: diva2:812468
Available from: 2015-05-19 Created: 2015-05-18 Last updated: 2015-05-19Bibliographically approved

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Nordin, Maria
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Department of Psychology
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