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Shift work is associated with reduced heart rate variability among men but not women
Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, VU University Medical Center, the Netherlands.
National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Centre for Nutrition, Prevention and Health Services, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, the Netherlands.
Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, VU University Medical Center, the Netherlands.
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2018 (English)In: International Journal of Cardiology, ISSN 0167-5273, E-ISSN 1874-1754, Vol. 258, p. 109-114Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Imbalance in the autonomic nervous system due to a disrupted circadian rhythm may be a cause of shift work-related cardiovascular diseases.

Objective

We aimed to determine the association between shift work and cardiac autonomic activity in blue-collar workers.

Methods

The study included 665 blue-collar workers aged 18–68 years in different occupations from two Danish cohort studies. Time and frequency domain parameters of heart rate variability (HRV) were measured during sleep using the Actiheart monitor, and used as markers of cardiac autonomic function. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to investigate differences in HRV between day and shift workers.

Results

Shift workers had no significantly different HRV parameters than day workers, except for a lower VLF (B: 0.21; 95% CI: −0.36–0.05). The lower VLF was only present among non-night shift workers (p < 0.05) and not among night shift workers (p > 0.05). Results differed significantly by gender (p for interaction < 0.10): among men, shift work was negatively associated with RMSSD (B: −7.83; 95% CI: −14.28–1.38), SDNN (B: −7.0; 95% CI: −12.27–1.78), VLF (B: −0.27; 95% CI: −0.46–0.09) and Total Power (B: −0.61; 95% CI: −1.20–0.03), while among women, shift work was only associated with the LF/HF ratio (B: −0.29; 95% CI: −0.54–0.03).

Conclusion

Shift work was particularly associated with lower HRV during sleep among men. This indicates that shift work causes imbalance in the autonomic nervous system among men, which might increase their risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 258, p. 109-114
Keywords [en]
Shift work, Night shift, Heart rate variability, Cardiovascular diseases, Autonomic nervous system
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-26050DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2018.01.089ISI: 000427605700023PubMedID: 29433969Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85041530029OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-26050DiVA, id: diva2:1176632
Available from: 2018-01-23 Created: 2018-01-23 Last updated: 2018-05-31Bibliographically approved

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Hallman, David

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