The relationship between occupational dust exposure and incidence of diabetes in male workers: A retrospective cohort study

Byungyoon Yun, Juho Sim, Seunghyun Lee, Ara Cho, Juyeon Oh, Seunghan Kim, Jin Ha Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Previous studies have focused on the association between ambient particulate matter and diabetes. However, the relationship between subacute exposure to occupational dust and diabetes has not been explored. We aimed to assess this relationship. Methods: Men who worked in dust-related process factories between January 2013 and December 2017 were recruited from a Korea Health Worker Examination Common Data Model cohort. A history of physician-diagnosed diabetes, use of an anti-diabetic drug, or a fasting blood glucose level of ≥7 mmol/L were considered the criteria to diagnose diabetes. Multivariable time-dependent Cox analysis estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for incident diabetes associated with exposure to occupational dust exposure; interactions with lifestyle factors were analysed. Sensitivity analyses used propensity score matching and landmark analysis. Results: Among 5141 male participants (median follow-up duration, 3.85 years), 349 participants had diabetes. Occupational dust exposure was related to an increased risk of diabetes in the time-dependent Cox analysis (entire cohort: HR 1.66 [95% CI 1.25–2.19], matched cohort: HR 1.65 [95% CI 1.22–2.24]). The findings showed the same direction in the landmark analysis (HR 1.42 [95% CI 1.01–1.99]). Conclusions: A significant relationship exists between occupational dust exposure and increased risk of diabetes in male workers. Further studies should be conducted to confirm that occupational dust exposure is a possible risk factor for diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14837
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Health Industry Development Institute through ‘Social and Environmental Risk Research’ funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare (HI19C0052).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Diabetes UK.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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