Atherosclerotic risk and social jetlag in rotating shift-workers: first evidence from a pilot study.

Research paper by Thomas T Kantermann, Françoise F Duboutay, Damien D Haubruge, Myriam M Kerkhofs, Arno A Schmidt-Trucksäss, Debra J DJ Skene

Indexed on: 18 Jan '13Published on: 18 Jan '13Published in: Work (Reading, Mass.)


The aim of this study was to identify atherosclerotic risk using pulse wave velocity (PWV) in steel workers employed in different shift-work rotations, and to elucidate its relationship to social jetlag and shift schedule details.Male workers in a steel factory (n=77, 32 fast clockwise (CW), 30 slow counterclockwise (CC), 15 day workers (DW); mean age 42 ± SD 7.6 yrs) with at least 5 years of experience in their current work schedule participated.All workers completed questionnaires on demographics, health, psychotropic agents, sleep, social and work life, social jetlag (difference between mid-sleep time on workdays and days off used as a marker of circadian disruption) and chronotype (mid-sleep time on free days corrected for sleep deficit on workdays). In 63 workers we measured PWV, blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR) between 08:00 and 12:30 h in controlled posture conditions (no caffeine/smoking/exercise).There was no significant difference in PWV (covariates: age, BP) between the different shift-rotations (CW, CC and DW). In all workers combined, HR and social jetlag were significantly positively correlated. Demographic variables did not differ between shift-workers and day workers; shift-workers (CW, CC) reported significantly more stomach upsets, digestion problems, weight fluctuations, and social jetlag. The CW and CC workers did not differ in ratings of how shift-work affected sleep, social and work life.PWV was not different between the two shift-rotations. This pilot study shows first evidence that HR is related to social jetlag, and therefore warrants more studies in different shift schedules.