The Relationship between Long Working Hours and Diabetes for Older Workers

TitleThe Relationship between Long Working Hours and Diabetes for Older Workers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsMercan, MAnil
JournalIOSR Journal of Economics and Finance
KeywordsDiabetes, Older workers

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005–2008, the estimated percentage of
adults with diabetes (diagnosed and undiagnosed) was 3.7% among those aged 20–44 years, 13.7% among those
aged 45–64 years, and 26.9% among those aged 65 years or older in the US. It means that older workers are
more likely to have diabetes. Therefore, we need more studies which focus on older workers.
The long working hours may cause several work-related illnesses. Researchers try to investigate the
relationship between working hours and ill health. For instance, obesity (Mercan, 2014), arm/hand
discomfort(Bergqvist, Wolgast, Nilsson, & Voss, 1995), blood concentration of glycosylated hemoglobin
(HbA1c)(Cesana et al., 1985), and impact of the job on workers' physical and mental health(Ettner, 2001). In
addition, there are some literature review and meta-analysis studies in this literature(Cosgrove, Sargeant,
Caleyachetty, & Griffin, 2012; Kang et al., 2012; Virtanen et al., 2018). However, a few studies have the large
sample size or nationally representative samples e.g. (Dembe, Erickson, Delbos, & Banks, 2005). In this study,
they used the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) dataset. NLSY is a nationally representative
dataset for the US and they find that working more than 60 hours per week significantly increase the probability
of injury.
In addition, there might be a relationship between long work hours and diabetes. A previous study finds
that air traffic controllers who have a demanding job are more likely to have diabetes(Cobb & Rose, 1973).It
was also reported that job strain is associated with increased levels of glycosylated hemoglobin among nondiabetic populations(Netterstrøm, Kristensen, Damsgaard, Olsen, & Sjøl, 1991).
For diabetes, there are few longitudinal studies(Kawakami, Araki, Takatsuka, Shimizu, & Ishibashi,
1999).First study depends on workers in a factory in Japan. They followed 2194 Japanese male workers for
eight years. They find that long overtime is associated with a higher risk of non-insulin dependent diabetes
mellitus. Furthermore, another study finds that longer overtime is a negative risk factor for having diabetes in
Japanese male office workers(Nakanishi et al., 2001).
Although there is a term, karoshi, in Japanese for death from overwork, according to OECD, in 2018
on average Americans worked more than Japanese, 1786hours and 1680 hours respectively. Even though this
fact, there are few studies for the US. A previous study finds that female nurses who worked more than 40 hours
from 15 states had an elevated risk of diabetes(Kroenke et al., 2006). In addition, there is one study reviews both
published and unpublished studies that focus on the relationship between the working hours and the risk of
incident type 2 diabetes from all around the world(Kivimäki et al., 2015).

Citation KeyMercan2019TheRB