Scand J Work Environ Health 2022;48(1):5-20    pdf full text

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3987 | Published online: 28 Sep 2021, Issue date: 01 Jan 2022

Job strain and effort-reward imbalance as risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies

by Pena-Gralle APB, Talbot D, Duchaine CS, Lavigne-Robichaud M, Trudel X, Aubé K, Gralle M, Gilbert-Ouimet M, Milot A, Brisson C

Objectives This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to synthesize the available data on prospective associations between work-related stressors and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) among adult workers, according to the demand–control–support (DCS) and the effort–reward imbalance (ERI) models.

Method We searched for prospective studies in PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Scopus, CINHAL and PsychInfo. After screening and extraction, quality of evidence was assessed using the ROBINS-I tool adapted for observational studies. The effect estimates extracted for each cohort were synthesized using random effect models.

Results We included 18 studies (reporting data on 25 cohorts) in meta-analyses for job strain, job demands, job control, social support at work and ERI. Workers exposed to job strain had a higher risk of developing T2DM when compared to unexposed workers [pooled rate ratio (RR) 1.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07–1.26]. This association was robust in several supplementary analyses. For exposed women relative to unexposed women, the RR was 1.35 (95% CI 1.12–1.64). The RR of workers exposed to ERI was 1.24 (95% CI 1.08–1.42) compared to unexposed workers.

Conclusions This is the first meta-analysis to find an effect of ERI on the onset of T2DM incidence. It also confirms that job strain increases the incidence of T2DM, especially among women.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2021;47(4):249-257
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