NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Night shift work before and during pregnancy in relation to depression and anxiety in adolescent and young adult offspring.

Strohmaier S; Devore EE; Vetter C; Eliassen AH; Rosner B; Okereke OI; Schernhammer ES
Eur J Epidemiol 2019 Jul; 34(7):625-635
We investigated the relationship between maternal history of nightshift work before and shift work during pregnancy and offspring risk of depression and anxiety, among mothers participating in the Nurses Health Study II and in their offspring enrolled in the Growing Up Today Study 2 between 2004 and 2013. Case definitions were based on offspring self-reports of physician/clinician-diagnosed depression and/or anxiety, regular antidepressant use and depressive symptoms assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using generalized estimating equation models. We found no associations between maternal nightshift work before pregnancy or during pregnancy and offspring mental health disorders (e.g., nightshift work before pregnancy: depression (based on physician/clinician diagnosis): ORever nightwork = 1.14; 95% CI, 0.88-1.47; either depression or anxiety: ORever nightwork = 0.93; 95% CI, 0.81-1.08; nightshift work during pregnancy: depression: ORever nightwork = 1.14; 95% CI, 0.68-1.94; depression or anxiety: ORever nightwork =1.17; 95% CI, 0.70-1.98) and no dose-response relationship with longer history of nightshift work (all PTrend >0.10). Stratifying by maternal chronotype revealed a higher risk of depression for offspring whose mothers worked nightshifts before pregnancy and reported being definite morning chronotypes (a proxy for circadian strain) ( ORever nightwork = 1.95; 95% CI, 1.17, 3.24 vs. ORever nightwork = 0.93; 95% CI, 0.68, 1.28 for any other chronotype; PInteraction = 0.03). Further studies replicating our findings and refined understanding regarding the interplay of nightshift work and chronotype and its potential influences on offspring mental health are needed.
Shift work; Shift workers; Women; Pregnancy; Nurses; Children; Mental disorders; Clinical diagnosis; Psychological disorders; Psychological responses; Statistical analysis; Antidepressants; Circadian rhythms; Biological effects; Stress; Epidemiology; Mental health; Author Keywords: Circadian disruption; Intergenerational; Night shift work; Offspring mental health
Eva S. Schernhammer, Department of Epidemiology, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
Source Name
European Journal of Epidemiology
Performing Organization
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division