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Informal caregiving as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes in individuals with favourable and unfavourable psychosocial work environments: A longitudinal multi-cohort study

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  • J Mortensen
  • Adrian J L Clark
  • T. Lange
  • G S Andersen
  • M Goldberg
  • C H Ramlau-Hansen
  • J Head
  • M Kivimäki
  • I E H Madsen
  • C Leineweber
  • R Lund
  • R Rugulies
  • M Zins
  • H Westerlund
  • Naja Hulvej Rod
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AIM: To examine whether informal caregiving is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), and whether job strain and social support at work modify the association.

METHODS: Individual participant's data were pooled from three cohort studies-the French GAZEL study, the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH) and the British Whitehall II study-a total of 21,243 study subjects. Informal caregiving was defined as unpaid care for a closely related person. Job strain was assessed using the demand-control model, and questions on co-worker and supervisor support were combined in a measure of social support at work. Incident T2D was ascertained using registry-based, clinically assessed and self-reported data.

RESULTS: A total of 1058 participants developed T2D during the up to 10 years of follow-up. Neither informal caregiving (OR: 1.09, 95% CI: 0.92-1.30) nor high job strain (OR: 1.04, 95% CI: 0.86-1.26) were associated with T2D risk, whereas low social support at work was a risk factor for T2D (OR: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.02-1.37). Also, informal caregivers who were also exposed to low social support at work were at higher risk of T2D (OR: 1.40, 95% CI: 1.08-1.82) compared with those who were not informal caregivers and had high social support at work (multiplicative test for interaction, P=0.04; additive test for interaction, synergy index=10).

CONCLUSION: Informal caregiving was not independently associated with T2D risk. However, low social support at work was a risk factor, and informal caregivers with low social support at work had even higher risks of T2D.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes and Metabolism
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 51454568