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Rotating Night Shift Work and Type 2 Diabetes in Women

Filed in
  • diabetes
  • Shift Work
  • Women

American Academy of Sleep Medicine  |  Dec 11, 2011
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A new study found that the longer women worked rotating night shifts, the greater their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers also found that extended years of rotating night shift work was associated with weight gain. The weight gain may have contributed to the increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Women who worked rotating night shifts for three to nine years faced a 20 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Women who worked nights for 10 to 19 years had a 40 percent rise in risk. And women who worked night shifts for over 20 years were 58 percent more at risk. Women who worked rotating night shifts also gained more weight and were more likely to become obese during the follow-up.

Rotating night shift work was defined as three or more night shifts plus day and evening hours each month. The Harvard School of Public Health tracked more than 175,000 U.S. nurses for this study. Findings were published Dec. 6 in the journal PLoS Medicine.

Researchers said the findings need to be confirmed in men and ethnic groups (96 percent of the nurses were white Caucasians). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 15 million Americans work full time on evening shifts, night shifts, rotating shifts or other irregular schedules.

Read more about shift work sleep disorder and women’s sleep needs. More stories about sleep and type 2 diabetes are available in the news section.

Photo by DIAC Images

1 Comment

  1. 1 StyledFoil 10 Nov
    If you have a kid with a sleep problem (I think that's what you're aksnig) No caffeine, ginseng, High fructose Corn Syrup, or other accelerants after 2pm. Use chamomile tea, lavender, and baths with calming scented oils and candles. Do not have your doctor prescribe sleep medications. They can be VERY harmful/ addictive. Especially if the kid is under 16. I was prescribed sleep meds when I was a kid. I kept passing out/ sleeping randomly throughout the day. It affected my health, friendships, and grades. Some people become addicted to them, and it can really mess up someone's life.Good luck.