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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Effort-reward imbalance at work and risk of type 2 diabetes in a national sample of 50,552 workers in Denmark: A prospective study linking survey and register data

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OBJECTIVE: To examine the prospective relation between effort-reward imbalance at work and risk of type 2 diabetes.

METHODS: We included 50,552 individuals from a national survey of the working population in Denmark, aged 30-64 years and diabetes-free at baseline. Effort-reward imbalance was defined, in accordance with the literature, as a mismatch between high efforts at work (e.g. high work pace, time pressure), and low rewards received in return (e.g. low recognition, job insecurity) and assessed as a continuous and a categorical variable. Incident type 2 diabetes was identified in national health registers. Using Cox regression we calculated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for estimating the association between effort-reward imbalance at baseline and risk of onset of type 2 diabetes during follow-up, adjusted for sex, age, socioeconomic status, cohabitation, children at home, migration background, survey year and sample method.

RESULTS: During 136,239 person-years of follow-up (mean = 2.7 years) we identified 347 type 2 diabetes cases (25.5 cases per 10,000 person-years). For each one standard deviation increase of the effort-reward imbalance score at baseline, the fully adjusted risk of type 2 diabetes during follow-up increased by 9% (HR: 1.09, 95% CI: 0.98-1.21). When we used effort-reward imbalance as a dichotomous variable, exposure to effort-reward imbalance was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes with a HR of 1.27 (95% CI: 1.02-1.58).

CONCLUSION: The results of this nationwide study of the Danish workforce suggest that effort-reward imbalance at work may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109867
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume128
ISSN0022-3999
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

    Research areas

  • Diabetes mellitus, Epidemiology, Occupation, Population-based, Psychosocial work factors, Stress

ID: 58360320