University of Oulu

Varanka-Ruuska, T., Rautio, N., Lehtiniemi, H. et al. Int J Public Health (2018) 63: 435.

The association of unemployment with glucose metabolism : a systematic review and meta-analysis

Saved in:
Author: Varanka-Ruuska, Tuulia1,2; Rautio, Nina1,3; Lehtiniemi, Heli1;
Organizations: 1Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Kallio Primary Health Care Unit, Kirkkotie 4, 84100 Ylivieska, Finland
3Unit of Primary Health Care, Oulu University Hospital, P.O. Box 20, 90029 OYS Oulu, Finland
4Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
5Health Center of Oulu, P.O. Box 27, 90015 Oulu, Finland
6Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
7Department of Genomics of Complex Diseases, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7, UK
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-05-14


Objectives: Unemployment has been linked with poor health. We hypothesized that being unemployed is associated with disorders of glucose metabolism and performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature to ascertain the relationship.

Methods: We searched the databases of Scopus, Medline Ovid and Web of Science for population-based original studies for past 20 years. Random effects meta-analyses were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes among the unemployed as compared to those employed, separately for men and women when possible.

Results: Out of 981 articles found, 12 articles were included in the systematic review and eight articles in the meta-analyses. Unemployment was associated with 1.6-fold odds for prediabetes (OR 1.58; 95% CI 1.07–2.35), and 1.7-fold odds for type 2 diabetes (OR 1.72; 95% CI 1.14–2.58) in the total sample. The corresponding associations for type 2 diabetes were also found stratified for men (OR 1.53; 95% CI 1.47–1.60) and women (OR 1.60; 95% CI 1.33–1.92).

Conclusions: Unemployment is associated with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, global concerns of public health with potential for prevention.

see all

Series: International journal of public health
ISSN: 1661-8556
ISSN-E: 1661-8564
ISSN-L: 1661-8556
Volume: 63
Issue: 4
Pages: 435 - 446
DOI: 10.1007/s00038-017-1040-z
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This project has received funding from the Academy of Finland (#268336) and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (under Grant agreement no. 633595) for the DynaHEALTH action. The funders had no role in study design, data analysis, data interpretation and writing of the paper.
EU Grant Number: (633595) DYNAHEALTH - Understanding the dynamic determinants of glucose homeostasis and social capability to promote Healthy and active aging
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 268336
Detailed Information: 268336 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2017. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Int J Public Health. The final authenticated version is available online at: