Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2015;41(6):569-578    pdf full text


Gender-specific association between night-work exposure and type-2 diabetes: results from longitudinal study of adult health, ELSA-Brasil

by Silva-Costa A, Rotenberg L, Nobre AA, Schmidt MI, Chor D, Griep RH

Objectives Diabetes is a multifactorial disease of increasing prevalence. The literature suggests an impact of night work on metabolic components, though the relationship with diabetes is unclear. Our aim was to investigate gender-specific associations between night work and type-2 diabetes (DM2) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) using baseline data of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil).

Methods The cohort comprised 15 105 civil servants, aged 35–74 years. Baseline assessments (2008–2010) included clinical and laboratory measurements and interviews on sociodemographic, occupational, and health characteristics.

Results In the baseline sample (N=14 427), 19.6% were classified as having DM2 and 20.5% as having IGT. Mean age was 52.1 (SD 9.1) years. A total of 2041 participants worked at night for 1–20 years and 687 for >20 years. Among women exposed to night work for >20 years compared with no night work after adjustments for potential confounders, including obesity, the odds ratios (OR) derived from multinomial logistic regression for DM2 and IGT were 1.42 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.39–1.45] and 0.96 (95% CI 0.94–0.99), respectively. Among men exposed to night work for >20 years compared with no night work, the OR for DM2 and IGT were 1.06 (95% CI 1.04–1.08) and 0.99 (95% CI 0.98–1.01), respectively.

Conclusions The association between years of night work and diabetes is stronger among women than men. Longitudinal studies from ELSA-Brasil will be able to corroborate or refute these findings.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2012;38(4):337-342  2005;31(3):179-183