Washington, DC - Workers who feel as if they might lose their job also seem to have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.
Researchers reviewed data from nearly 141,000 workers in the United States, Europe and Australia. The workers' average age was 42.
The investigators found that diabetes rates were 19 percent higher among those who felt their employment was at risk (job insecurity) compared to people who felt secure in their jobs.
The study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship, however.
The study findings were published Oct. 3 in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
"These results are consistent with other studies, showing that job insecurity is associated with weight gain, a risk factor for diabetes," said lead author Jane Ferrie. She is from University College London in England.
People with job insecurity also had a higher risk of coronary heart disease, a complication of diabetes, Ferrie noted in a journal news release.
The researchers said their findings have significance for public health. "Small long-term effects on common disease outcomes can have high relevance," the researchers wrote.
The study authors suggested that there should be policies to reduce exposure to job insecurity. In addition, they said, it's important for doctors and other health care providers to know that if someone is worried about losing their job, they may have a modestly greater risk of developing diabetes.