Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2018;44(4):403-413  Price: EUR 15.00 Add to Cart

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3728

Night work and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: a national register-based cohort study

by Hammer P, Flachs E, Specht I, Pinborg A, Petersen S, Larsen A, Hougaard K, Hansen J, Hansen Å, Kolstad H, Garde A, Bonde JP

Objective The aim of this study was to investigate whether night work expressed by number and duration of night shifts, number of consecutive night shifts, and number of quick returns during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy is a risk factor for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP).

Methods The study population comprised Danish workers in public administration and hospitals who gave birth between 2007 and 2013. Exposure was assessed objectively through payroll data. Information on the outcome was retrieved from the National Patient Register. We performed logistic regression on the risk for HDP according to night work adjusted for age, body mass index (BMI), parity, socioeconomic status, and sickness absence prior to pregnancy.

Results Among 18 724 workers, 60% had at least one night shift during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. The prevalence of HDP was 3.7%. Among night workers, the risk of HDP grew with increasing number of consecutive night shifts [odds ratio (OR) 1.41, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01–1.98) and of quick returns after night shifts (OR 1.28, 95% CI 0.87–1.95). Among obese women (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2), those who worked long night shifts and longer spells of consecutive night shifts, and had the highest number of quick returns after night shifts, had a 4–5 fold increased risk of HDP compared to day workers.

Conclusion Working consecutive night shifts and quick returns after night shifts during the first 20 pregnancy weeks was associated with an increased risk of HDP, particularly among obese women.

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