Do you come home from work at the end of the day feeling fatigued, lethargic, and mentally spent? It might be time to reflect on how that can affect your health in the long term. According to a new study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology, it might be increasing your risk for type 2 diabetes.
This study, which was conducted at the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health in France, collected data from 70,000 women for over 22 years. The results showed that women who considered their jobs mentally tiring at the beginning of the study were 21 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes by the end of the 22 years. This was after accounting for other known risk factors for diabetes, such as age, BMI, blood pressure, family history, and lifestyle habits like activity level and dietary habits.
According to Guy Fagherazzi, one of the lead scientists on the study, “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. This finding underscores the importance of considering mental tiredness as a risk factor for diabetes among women.”
The link between stress levels and blood sugar is already well-known, but connecting diabetes directly to a mentally tiring job brings it to a whole new level of specific, which will help bring it to the attention of employees and their employers. It’s unlikely you’ll ditch your job and change careers because of one study, but it’s good to be aware of how your work might be putting your health at risk and take additional measures to help lower your risk of developing diabetes.
So what’s next? The same researchers are planning to study how mentally tiring work affects patients who already have diabetes to see if they can further elucidate this link and, eventually, improve treatment and prevention strategies.