Daytime levels of this male hormone are regulated by the internal body clock, Lu’s team explained.
According to Lu’s team, erratic working schedules make it more difficult for the body to establish a sleep-wake cycle, and poor sleep may worsen insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.
Previous studies have also linked shift work to weight gain and obesity, a big risk factor for type 2 diabetes. And the researchers note that shift work can also affect cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Other experts point to the difficulty of scheduling regular meals and exercise as other potential contributing factors, and suggest that those who must do shift work consult their doctor to monitor cholesterol levels, blood pressure and insulin levels to detect if blood sugar levels are increasing. In addition, doctors may also be able to help workers get adequate amounts of sleep.