Informal caregiving as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes in individuals with favourable and unfavourable psychosocial work environments: a longitudinal multi-cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Jesper Mortensen
  • Alice Jessie Clark
  • Lange, Theis
  • Gregers Stig Andersen
  • Marcel Goldberg
  • Cecilia Høst Ramlau-Hansen
  • Jenny Head
  • Mika Kivimäki
  • Ida Elisabeth Huitfeldt Madsen
  • Constanze Leineweber
  • Lund, Rikke
  • Reiner Rugulies
  • Marie Zins
  • Hugo Westerlund
  • Rod, Naja Hulvej
To examine whether informal caregiving is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), and whether job strain and social support at work modify the association.

Individual participant's data were pooled from three cohort studies—the French GAZEL study, the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH) and the British Whitehall II study—a total of 21,243 study subjects. Informal caregiving was defined as unpaid care for a closely related person. Job strain was assessed using the demand-control model, and questions on co-worker and supervisor support were combined in a measure of social support at work. Incident T2D was ascertained using registry-based, clinically assessed and self-reported data.

A total of 1058 participants developed T2D during the up to 10 years of follow-up. Neither informal caregiving (OR: 1.09, 95% CI: 0.92–1.30) nor high job strain (OR: 1.04, 95% CI: 0.86–1.26) were associated with T2D risk, whereas low social support at work was a risk factor for T2D (OR: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.02–1.37). Also, informal caregivers who were also exposed to low social support at work were at higher risk of T2D (OR: 1.40, 95% CI: 1.08–1.82) compared with those who were not informal caregivers and had high social support at work (multiplicative test for interaction, P = 0.04; additive test for interaction, synergy index = 10).

Informal caregiving was not independently associated with T2D risk. However, low social support at work was a risk factor, and informal caregivers with low social support at work had even higher risks of T2D.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes & Metabolism
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 169731228