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Job insecurity may increase diabetes risk

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Findings from a new study associate job insecurity with an increased risk of diabetes. According to the research, employees who feel worried about losing their job seem to be at a 19% higher risk of the silent disease.

The researchers examined existing data from a total of 19 studies involving 140,825 participants from Australia, Europe and the United States, and included 3954 cases of diabetes. The results were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. “In the preliminary analysis adjusted for age and sex, high job insecurity was associated with an increased risk of incident diabetes compared with low low insecurity”, the study states.

Participants of the various studies were asked questions regarding how secure they felt in their job, how likely it was they would involuntarily lose their job, or how worried they were about becoming unemployed. Those data were then cross-referenced with any cases of diabetes.

With an increasing use of temporary contracts, zero-hours contracts and other flexible employment, more and more consideration is given to both the physical and mental health consequences of job insecurity. For example, the researchers refer to previous research that linked job insecurity to diabetes through a connection between job insecurity and a subsequent increase in body mass index.

But the new study shows there might be more to it. Even after adjusting for age, sex, socioeconomic status, obesity, physical activity, alcohol use and smoking, the result remained statistically significant.

The researchers feel the multi-country data set makes it likely that their findings apply more widely to workers in other high-income countries as well.

Although there is no proof of a direct link, this latest study shows there is a connection between job insecurity and diabetes risk. As such, the authors recommend a policy response that looks to reduce people’s exposure to job insecurity in an attempt to limit its health impact.

ALSO READ: These triggers of stress at work are literally killing you

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