Shift work is associated with an increased risk for ischemic heart disease, with evidence of a positive dose-response relationship between the risk for ischemic heart disease and increasing duration of shift work, according to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Occupational Medicine.

Man Cheng, from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological evidence to examine the potential relationship between shift work and IHD.

Data were reviewed from 21 articles with 31 independent results of 19,782 IHD cases in 320,002 participants.

The researchers found that the pooled relative risk was 1.13 for the association between shift work and risk for IHD. A dose-response relationship was identified, with each one-year increase in shift work correlating with a 0.9 percent increase in IHD risk.

“Given the growing prevalence of shift work worldwide and heavy disease burden of IHD, further research,” the authors suggested, “is required to consider how to protect workers from IHD.”


REFERENCE: Sheng et al: Shift work and ischaemic heart disease: meta-analysis and dose–response relationship;