People in certain occupations have a higher risk of type 2
diabetes compared to those in other jobs, a nationwide Swedish
Drivers, factory workers, and cleaners are three times more
likely to develop type 2 diabetes than teachers and
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have studied how
the occurrence of diabetes differs between occupations in Sweden.
They monitored 4.6 million Swedes of working age between 2006 and
2015, of which 202,000 were living with type 2 diabetes.
The purpose of the research was to identify occupations with
especially high risks of type 2 diabetes and factors which
contribute to the increased risk. In about 60 per cent of cases
type 2 diabetes can be prevented through lifestyle changes, and in
order to reap the biggest health gains, the groups most at risk
need to be identified.
"This is the first register study of its kind, where
examinations were carried out regarding how the risk of type 2
diabetes differs between occupations based on data from an entire
population," said Dr Sofia Carlsson.
The results show that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes,
for women as well as men, differs significantly between
However, the researchers believe that there may be factors other
than the occupations themselves that affect the risk of developing
type 2; rather it seems to depend on certain occupations having a
generally less healthy lifestyle.
According to the researchers, it is especially important that
employers in these fields focus on measures such as preventive
healthcare, exercise, and weight loss.
Information about diabetes was obtained from the national
prescription and healthcare registers. The researchers also had
access to certain information on lifestyle factors. Information
regarding the men included in the study was obtained from the
Military Enrolment Records, and information regarding the women
with children was obtained from the Medical Birth Register.
"Interestingly, we can see that men who later work in
professions with a high risk of diabetes are more likely to be
overweight and have lower physical fitness during their military
enrolment, ie, at an age when they are starting their working
lives", said Dr Carlsson.
"Among women, we can see that persons in high-risk professions
have a higher than average occurrence of obesity and smoking at the
time of their first pregnancy.
"Obviously, work-related factors such as sedentary work,
irregular working hours, and stress can play a part as well."
Click here to read the
original study in Diabetologia.