Women who work 45 hours a week are far more likely to develop diabetes than those who work less, a study claims. Picture: Pexels

Women who work 45 hours a week are far more likely to develop diabetes than those who work less, a study claims.

Research suggests long hours encourage unhealthy eating habits and trigger ‘chronic stress’ reactions in the body.

However, men who work the same hours did not face a greater risk of diabetes, the study found. Scientists believe this is because women effectively work even longer hours due to housework and childcaring responsibilities.

Experts from the Institute of Work and Health in Toronto followed 7,065 adults aged 35 to 74 for 12 years. They found women who worked over 45 hours were 63 % more likely to get diabetes than those who worked 35 to 40 hours a week

The study, published in the journal BMJ Diabetes Research, said long hours could fuel type 2 diabetes by triggering changes in the body with a ‘chronic stress response mechanism’.

It said reducing working hours could prevent ‘numerous cases’ of diabetes, while ‘high family responsibilities may intensify the tendency ... to engage in unhealthy behaviours.’