Type 2 diabetes can lead to significant health problems including heart attacks, strokes, blindness and kidney failure. Common factors that can increase the risk of developing the disease include obesity, diet, exercise, smoking or a family history of the disease. But a study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology this week suggests that mentally draining jobs may be associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Researchers looked at the link between mentally tiring work and a diagnosis of diabetes in 70,000 women over a 22-year-period.
Three out of four women involved (75 percent) were teachers and 24 percent found their work very mentally tiring at the beginning of the study.
Researchers found that 21 percent of women were more likely to develop type two diabetes if they found their jobs mentally tiring at the start of the study.
That was independent of typical risk factors including age, physical activity level, dietary habits, smoking status, blood pressure, family history of diabetes and BMI.
The team now plan to study how mentally tiring work affects patients with diabetes, including how they manage their treatment, their quality of life and the risks of diabetes-related complications.
The research may help to identify new approaches that could help improve the lives of patients living with diabetes.
Lead author Dr. Guy Fagherazzi, of the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health at Inserm, France, said: "Although we cannot directly determine what increased diabetes risk in these women, our results indicate it is not due to typical type 2 diabetes risk factors.
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