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Diab Vasc Dis Res. 2013 Jul;10(4):337-45. doi: 10.1177/1479164113479808. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

Prevalence and predictors of diabetes and cardiometabolic risk among construction workers in Ireland: the Construction Workers Health Trust screening study.

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Metabolic Research Unit, St James Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


Construction workers (CW) are at increased risk for a range of chronic diseases. We screened 983 CW for diabetes and cardiometabolic risk. The age range was 18-64 years, with mean age of 36.3 years. Self-reported questionnaires, Finnish diabetes risk score and fasting blood tests were collected at the workplace. The unadjusted prevalence of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus were 3.6% and 1.2%, respectively; 21% of CW had the metabolic syndrome (MetS). The majority were either overweight (48.3%) or obese (21.8%). In a regression model, age remained the strongest predictor of fasting glucose (p < 0.001). Pre-diabetes and diabetes mellitus were significantly associated with presence of the MetS [odds ratio (OR) 5.6; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.8-11.5, p < 0.001 and OR 5.5; 95% CI: 1.6-18.7, p = 0.006, respectively]. Subjects engaged in greater physical activity outside of work had lower body mass index (26.9 vs. 28.8 kg/m(2), p = 0.03), waist circumference (95.8 vs. 98.1 cm, p = 0.03) and fasting serum triglycerides (1.1 vs. 1.4 mmol/L, p = 0.03) compared to those who were sedentary. Despite their youth and a physically demanding occupation, CW are at risk of cardiometabolic diseases. This risk increases with age and the MetS. Screening tools may be useful to identify those who are at risk.


Construction workers; diabetes; diabetes risk score; metabolic syndrome; physical activity

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