Review

Scand J Work Environ Health 2021;47(4):249-257    pdf full text

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3938

Is job strain associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus? A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies

by Li W, Yi G, Chen Z, Dai X, Wu J, Peng Y, Ruan W, Lu Z, Wang D

Objectives Epidemiological studies have explored the relationship between work-related stress and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), but it remains unclear on whether work-related stress could increase the risk of T2DM. We aimed to evaluate the association between job strain and the risk of T2DM.

Methods We searched PubMed and Web of Science up to April 2019. Summary risk estimates were calculated by random-effect models. And the analysis was also conducted stratifying by gender, study location, smoking, drinking, body mass index, physical activity, family history of T2DM, education and T2DM ascertainment. Studies with binary job strain and quadrants based on the job strain model were analyzed separately.

Results A total of nine studies with 210 939 participants free of T2DM were included in this analysis. High job strain (high job demands and low control) was associated with the overall risk of T2DM compared with no job strain (all other combinations) [relative risk (RR) 1.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03–1.31], and the association was more evident in women (RR 1.48, 95% CI 1.02–2.14). A statistically significant association was also observed when using high strain as a category (job strain quadrants) rather than binary variable (RR 1.62, 95% CI 1.04–2.55) in women but not men.

Conclusions Our study suggests that job strain is an important risk factor for T2DM, especially among women. Appropriate preventive interventions in populations with high job strain would contribute to a reduction in T2DM risk.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2014;40(1):89-95