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Health problems in shiftworkers.

Verhaegen P; Maasen A; Meers A
The twenty-four hour workday: proceedings of a symposium on variations in work-sleep schedules. Johnson LC, Texas DI, Colquhoun WP, Colligan MJ, eds. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-127, 1981 Jul; :335-346
Health problems of young male shift workers (SWs) in a wire factory were studied. From the original cohort of 104 SWs who started working in the factory in 1972, 51 remained and were periodically examined. Forty SWs left but were available for examination at the end of the study. The second cohort included 72 SWs that also started working in 1972, but were examined only at the end of the study. The third cohort contained 79 SWs who were examined in 1978 and 1979. Shift cycle consisted of six morning, six afternoon, and six night 8 hour shifts followed by 6 days off. Subjects filled out questionnaires on the Inventory of Subjective Health (ISH), Amsterdam Biographical Questionnaire, and two fatigue questionnaires. Mean ISH scores increased regularly in the first cohort. The score for the 40 workers who left was significantly lower around 2.5 years after leaving than the latest score for the 51 remaining members of the first cohort. There was no difference in scores of the 40 workers between the last test when they were working and after they left. Mean score of the second cohort was significantly lower than that of the first with the same seniority. Mean score for the third cohort after 1 year on the job was similar to the score of the first cohort. Mean scores of frequency of psychoneurotic complaints and of frequency of functional somatic complaints increased significantly in all but the third cohort. The chronic fatigue score increased for working SWs and decreased for those that left. A decrease in appetite was observed after the start of working, however, it improved after 4 years. An increase in digestive symptoms was observed during employment. The authors state that the data indicate a continuous increase in subjective health complaints, neuroticism, fatigue, and digestive system disorders.
Men; Shift-work; Health-protection; Gastrointestinal-system-disorders; Physiological-stress; Psychological-disorders; Psychological-effects; Psychological-fatigue
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Johnson LC; Texas DI; Colquhoun WP; Colligan MJ
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-127
Source Name
The twenty-four hour workday: proceedings of a symposium on variations in work-sleep schedules
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Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division