No link found between work-related stress and type 2 diabetes.


A new systematic review of observational studies found no evidence that work-related stress is associated with type 2 diabetes.

Clinical question:

Do people who experience high levels of work-related stress suffer a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes?

The evidence:

The reviewers looked for studies in the published literature up to March 2010.  They included studies that reported the effects of high levels of work-related stress or long working hours.

When they combined the data from the nine studies they found, their meta-analysis:

did not show any statistically significant associations between any individual aspect of work-related psychosocial stress or job strain and risk of Type 2 diabetes

Appraisal hints:

Users of this research should consider:

  • Did the reviewers find all of the relevant evidence?
  • Did they only include good quality, unbiased research?
  • Could there have been a longer time delay between stress exposure and onset than was allowed for in the individual studies?
  • Is this review enough to rule out a possible link?


Cosgrove MP, Sargeant LA, Caleyachetty R, Griffin SJ.  Work-related stress and Type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis. Occup Med (Lond). 2012 Feb 14. [Epub ahead of print]

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I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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