How overwork is harmful to women’s health

Longer hours might lead to diabetes through a chronic stress response

Women who do more than 45 hours of employed work a week face a significantly increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes, research shows.

However, the same is not true for men, possibly because women work more hours than men in total when all the household chores and family responsibilities are taken into account, the Canadian researchers suggest.

Longer hours might lead to diabetes through a chronic stress response — increasing the risk of endocrine abnormalities, insulin resistance and obesity, they add.

Using national health survey data and medical records, the research team tracked the health of more than 7000 Canadian workers aged between 35 and 74 years during a 12-year period.

Weekly working hours, both paid and unpaid, were grouped into four bands: 15-34 hours; 35-40 hours; 41-44 hours; and 45 or more hours; and a range of potentially influential factors were considered.