Severe mental labor is an independent risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, according to French scientists in an article published in the European Journal of Endocrinology. On a sample of more than 70,000 women, they showed that those who rate their work as mentally hard have a higher risk of developing the disease.
Factors affecting the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes are divided into hereditary, medical, and those associated with everyday life. Thus, the risk of developing diabetes is higher in people with a history of the disease in the family, and diabetes often develops in people with glucanoma (a malignant tumor from pancreatic alpha cells). Unhealthy lifestyles (frequent stress, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and others) also affect the development of the disease, while it is still unclear how a person’s main employment – his job – affects the risk of developing diabetes.
The scientists decided to find out under the guidance of Guy Fagherazzi from the University of Paris-Saclay. To do this, they analyzed data on 73517 women (mostly they were teachers), collected from 1992 to 2014. In addition to data on the lifestyles and health of the participants, the scientists also collected information about where they work, as well as how mentally difficult they consider their work.
During the observation period, diabetes of the second type was registered in 4,187 participants from the sample. Scientists found that among women who rated their work as “very mentally difficult”, the risk of developing diabetes was 54 percent higher (risk ratio, HR = 1.21) than among women who rated the mental burden of their work lower. This correlation was observed independently of other factors, including an unhealthy lifestyle, a family history of the disease, smoking, and physical activity. At the same time, scientists discovered a relationship between body mass index and hard mental work, and it was stronger among women without excess weight.
Since the authors did not find an additional connection with other factors, they noted that hard mental work (at least among women) can be considered an independent risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Perhaps the risk in this case is due to additional stress. At the same time, scientists clarified that when working in connection with severe mental work, the support of employees plays an important role, and it is what they call the key in preventing diabetes of the second type, the appearance of which is associated with severe mental work.
Last year, scientists linked the sexual orientation of women with the risk of developing diabetes. Communication, however, is not direct, but is largely governed by the difference in body mass index.