Work-related psychosocial stress and the risk of type 2 diabetes in later life.

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Although work-related psychosocial stress and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have been investigated, the association between lifelong work stress and T2DM in later life remains unclear. This study examined whether high work stress increased the risk of T2DM risk in later life, accounting also for other sources of stress outside work, such as burden from household chores.


From the population-based prospective study SNAC-K, 2719 diabetes-free participants aged ≥60 years were identified and followed up for 6 years. T2DM was ascertained by glycated haemoglobin level, self-report, hypoglycaemic medication use and clinical records. Levels of job control and demands over the whole working life were assessed by a validated matrix. Household chores load was assessed by hours spent on such chores. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between job strain and T2DM.


During the 6-year follow-up, 154 incident cases of T2DM were identified. High job strain was associated with T2DM occurrence amongst the 60-year-old cohort (OR = 3.14, 95% CI: 1.27-7.77), and only amongst women (OR = 6.18, 95% CI: 1.22-31.26), but not in men. When taking into account household chores load, a more pronounced risk of T2DM was associated with high job strain in combination with heavy household chores load in women aged 60 years at baseline (OR = 9.45, 95% CI: 1.17-76.53).


Work-related psychosocial stress may increase the risk of T2DM only amongst women in their early 60s. The risk can be amplified by high household chores load.

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