Increased Workplace Stress is Linked to Higher Risk of Diabetes

In 2016 Statistics Canada reported that 7% of Canadians 12 and older (~2.1 million people) were diagnosed with diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes (DM2) is primarily attributed to poor diet, obesity and aging. Diabetes may lead to nerve damage, amputations, blindness, heart disease and strokes. The OHSPIW study found that chronic workplace stress increases the risk of developing DM2 and associated health concerns. 

This study was reported by Reuters News in January 2018. Reis, J.P., Allen, N.B., Bancks, M.P., Carr, J.J., Lewis, C.E., Lima, J.A., Rana, J.S., Gidding, S.S., and Schreiner, P.J. (2018) Duration of diabetes and prediabetes during adulthood and subclinical atherosclerosis and cardiac dysfunction in middle age: The CARDIA Study. Diabetes Care: 17-2233. Heart disease is a major complication of DM2. The CARDIA study complements the OHSPIW study. DM2 may be asymptomatic (prediabetes) for many years prior to diagnosis of diabetes. This study examined the impact of the duration of prediabetes and diabetes to the severity of heart disease. These studies highlight the importance of proactive management of workplace stress to reduce the risk of developing DM2. OHSPIW study: Workplace Stress and the risk of DM2 (Lian et al, 2017) Study Particulars:

  • 3,730 non-diabetic, health industry workers
  • 12 years of follow up
  • Workers who experienced increased workplace stress were 57% more likely to develop DM2.
  • Workers who experienced a decline in coping resources were 68% more likely to develop DM2.
  • Biggest contributors to workplace stress and DM2 development were: feeling overloaded with work or unclear about expectations or job responsibilities and strains of physical labour.
CARDIA study: Duration of prediabetes and diabetes and heart disease (Reis et al, 2018) Study Particulars:
  • 3,628 participants, 18-30 years old without diabetes or prediabetes at baseline
  • 25 years of follow up with CT and echocardiogram
  • 53.8% developed asymptomatic diabetes; 12.7% developed diabetes

    For each 5 year-longer duration of:

  • Diabetes and heart function progressively worsened

  • For women: asymptomatic diabetes, heart muscle strain and atherosclerosis progressively worsened

  • The findings were independent of sociodemographics, ethnicity, smoking, obesity, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

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