Weekly hours logged at work among the participants were classified into four groups, including 15-34 hours, 35-40 hours, 41-44 hours, and 45 or more hours. Women who worked for longer hours were associated with almost 70 per cent increased risk of diabetes as compared to men or women who worked for 30 to 40 hours a week.
However, the calculations showed that in men, the workweek does not affect the risk of diabetes.
The researchers found that 63 per cent higher risk of diabetes in women who indulged in work about 45 hours or more compared to those women who worked about 35 and 40 hours a week.
Meanwhile, a charity has warned the British public is "not taking diabetes seriously".
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The comments from Diabetes UK after a poll of 1,000 Britons found many were not able to name any of the unsafe complications associated with the disease.
Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "Losing a limb, eyesight or having a stroke is devastating and often life-changing".
The study concluded that 10% of the participants developed diabetes. But they suspect it might have something to do with the hours of unpaid work at home that women tend to engage in more than men.
In the current study, national health survey data was used to monitor the health of 7,065 men and women (aged 35 to 74 years) over the course of 12 years (between 2003 and 2015).
The study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. By 2030, an estimated 439mn people will be living with diabetes, almost a 50 per cent increase from the number of people who had diabetes as of 2010. There are studies which labelled this "over-work-under-pay diabetes risk" as controversial. "Among women, we know women tend to assume a lot of family chores and responsibilities outside the workplace, so one can assume that working long hours on top of that can have an adverse effect on health". The effect, however, was not found in women who work 30 to 40 hours per week, suggesting that this amount of work may curb the risk of the disease.
The results can be found published online in the journal BMJ Diabetes Research & Care.