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Long working hours, disturbed eating patterns may impair glycaemic control in Japanese males

11 May 2018
Overworking is increasingly leading to death in Japan

Long workweeks and habitual skipping of breakfast, along with late evening meals, appear to impair glycaemic control in Japanese men with type 2 diabetes, a recent study has found.

Multivariable logistic regression analysis in males showed that skipping of breakfasts and late evening meals (odds ratio [OR], 2.50; 95 percent CI, 1.25–5.00; p=0.009) and working for 60 hours per week (OR, 2.92; 1.16–7.40; p=0.023) were significantly associated with poor glycaemic control.

Other significant risk factors in this participant group were a disease duration of >10 years (OR, 2.43; 1.02–5.80; p=0.045) and HbA1c 7 percent (OR, 8.50; 4.90–14.80; p<0.001).

In females, the same meal patterns and working conditions had no effect on glycaemic control, while the use of insulin (OR, 11.60; 2.35–57.63; p=0.027) and oral hyperglycaemic agents (OR, 12.49; 2.75–56.86; p=0.001), and having HbA1c 7 percent (OR, 17.96; 5.93–54.4; p<0.001) were significant risk factors.

While the biological mechanisms are still not understood, long working hours may negatively affect glycaemic control by promoting unhealthy eating behaviours, such as higher intakes, to cope with stress. Neuroendocrinological factors may also be involved, said researchers. [Am J Ind Med 2011;54:375-383]

The differential effects with respect to sex may be explained by asymmetrical social expectations, they added. “We hypothesized that men are more commonly subjected to stress because of LWHs than women because the social roles of men strongly affect work ethics in Japan, where males are considered to be the breadwinner of the family and who should work outside the home to earn a living.” [Br J Sociol 2004;55:377-399]

Researchers performed a prospective study on 352 male (mean age 35.1±4.6 years) and 126 female (mean age 34.7±4.6 years) working patients with diabetes. Eating pattern and work condition information were obtained through self-administered questionnaires. Glycaemic control was measured as serum levels of HbA1c.

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Most Read Articles
Jairia Dela Cruz, 01 Aug 2017
A low glycaemic index (GI) meal plan consisting of commonly consumed foods in Asia yields reductions in glycaemic response and variability over 24 hours, as well as promotes fat oxidation, in sedentary, normal-weight men, according to a team of Singapore-based researchers.