Night shift may hike Type 2 diabetes risk

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Night-shift work is linked to an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

British and American researchers compared diabetes prevalence among 47,000 night-shift workers against that of 225,000 day workers. They used the UK Biobank, which includes information on diabetes diagnoses, age, sex, race, family history of diabetes, alcohol use, sleep duration, body mass index and other health characteristics.

The scientists found that the more often people worked overnight, the more likely they were to be diabetic.

“Our findings show that night shift work, especially rotating shift work including night shifts, is associated with higher Type 2 diabetes odds and that the number of night shifts worked per month appears most relevant for Type 2 diabetes odds,” wrote the authors, who were led by Céline Vetter, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado.

All people working night shifts experienced higher rates of diabetes, but the likelihood rose to 44% among those who worked frequent night shifts. Odds of a worker developing diabetes ticked upward with number of nights worked.