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Night shift work at specific age ranges and chronic disease risk factors.

Ramin C; Devore EE; Wang W; Pierre-Paul J; Wegrzyn LR; Schernhammer ES
Occup Environ Med 2015 Feb; 72(2):100-107
Objectives: We examined the association of night shift work history and age when night shift work was performed with cancer and cardiovascular disease risk factors among 54 724 women in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) II. Methods: We calculated age-adjusted and socioeconomic status-adjusted means and percentages for cancer and cardiovascular risk factors in 2009 across categories of night shift work history. We used multivariable-adjusted logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs for key risk factors among 54 724 participants (72% ever shift workers). We further examined these associations by age (20.25, 26.35, 36. 45 and 46+ years) at which shift work was performed. Results: Ever night shift workers had increased odds of obesity (body mass index >30 kg/m2; OR=1.37, 95% CI 1.31 to 1.43); higher caffeine intake (.131 mg/day; OR=1.16, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.22) and total calorie intake (>1715 kcal/day; OR=1.09, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.13); current smoking (OR=1.30, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.42); and shorter sleep durations (<7 h of sleep/day; OR=1.19, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.24) compared to never night shift workers. These estimates varied depending on age at which night work was performed, with a suggestion that night shift work before age 25 was associated with fewer risk factors compared to night shift work at older ages. Conclusions: Our results indicate that night shift work may contribute to an adverse chronic disease risk profile, and that risk factors may vary depending on the age at which night shift work was performed.
Shift-work; Shift-workers; Age-groups; Cancer; Diseases; Cardiovascular-disease; Risk-factors; Humans; Women; Nurses; Nursing; Sociological-factors; Body-weight; Statistical-analysis
Eva S. Schernhammer, MD, DrPH, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Channing Division of Network Medicine, 181 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-009803; M102014
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Healthcare and Social Assistance
Source Name
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Performing Organization
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts
Page last reviewed: May 27, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division