Night workers may find diabetes harder to control

Bangkok: People with Type 2 diabetes are likely to have poorer control over their blood glucose levels if they are working in night shifts, researchers say.

The study revealed that night shift workers had an average glycemic count of 8.2 per cent, significantly higher than the 7.6 per cent count for daytime workers and 7.5 per cent count for participants who did not work.

Most people with diabetes should strive for an A1C level below seven per cent, according to the Hormone Health Network.

“Our study data raise awareness of the difficulty in diabetes control among night shift workers,” said Sirimon Reutrakul, Associate Professor at Mahidol University in Thailand.

Further, the sleep restriction and circadian disruptions caused by night shifts may also increase the risk of developing diabetes as compared to those who work in the daytime or are unemployed.

For the study, presented at the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting ENDO 2017, in Orlando, the team studied 260 individuals — 62 night shift workers, 94 daytime workers and 104 unemployed individuals — with Type 2 diabetes in Thailand.

The night shift workers reported having shorter sleep duration, higher daily intake of calories and higher body mass index (BMI), than did the other two groups.

“Diabetic individuals who work at night should pay special attention to managing their disease through healthy eating, regular exercise and optimal use of medications prescribed by their physician,” Reutrakul recommended.