Diabetes risk increases two fold for women who are not allowed to make decisions or effectively use their skills in their jobs than women who can make decisions, a new study reports. 

The study found links between job control and diabetes risk in women. High job control is when a person can use skills and make decisions about the work process itself. Low job control has been associated with stress. Previous research has shown that low job control can increase risk of heart disease later in life for men and women.

The present study included nearly 7,500 employed women who had no prior diagnosis of diabetes. All the participants were followed for nine years.

Researchers found that women with low job control were at a 19 percent higher risk of developing diabetes than women with high job control, which is more than the risk of diabetes due to smoking, drinking or lack of physical activity but lower than obesity.

There are two ways in which stress in the workplace can increase diabetes risk; one where the person starts leading an unhealthy lifestyle due to work pressure and two where there are disruptions in the hormonal balance and the immune system in the body, according to a Institute for Clinical Evaluativetive Sciences press release. 

“Increasing levels of job control for women at work – such as providing autonomy over the way they do their jobs – along with improving health behaviours, should be considered as part of a comprehensive diabetes prevention strategy," said Peter Smith, lead author on the study and researcher with the Institute for Work & Health.

“While our study shows that high body mass index is probably the most important risk factor, low job control among women also played an important role in diabetes risk,” said Rick Glazier, co-author and senior ICES Scientist in a  press release.

The present study deals with job control and one factor. However, job control has two sub-factors; one decision making ability and two, use of skills for the job. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology says that people who can use their skills in the job have lower risks of developing health complications while people who have high decision making freedom at work have higher levels of risk of various health complications like heart diseases. 

The study was published in the journal Occupational Medicine.