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Incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes by occupation: results from all Swedish employees – published online 17/09/2019

Fig from Carlsson paper

Sofia Carlsson, Tomas Andersson, Mats Talbäck, Maria Feychting

While previous studies have shown that diabetes risk increases with lower socioeconomic status, little research exists on occupation and risk of type 2 diabetes. In this issue, Carlsson et al (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-019-04997-5) investigated the incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes across all occupational groups in Sweden. The association between occupation and type 2 diabetes coincided with vast differences in prevalence of lifestyle factors, far greater than any analyses of socioeconomic groups have revealed: drivers, factory workers and cleaners were three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than teachers and physiotherapists. Individuals in occupations associated with a high risk of diabetes were more likely to be overweight, smoke and have lower physical fitness than those in low-risk occupations. The differences were apparent from a young age, even at the time of entering the work force, among men. The authors conclude that if workplace interventions could target unhealthy lifestyle factors among employees in these occupations, major health gains may be made.

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