Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2021;47(3):200-207    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3933

Effect of long work hours and shift work on high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels among Korean workers

by Lee W, Kang S-K, Choi W-J

Objective We aimed to investigate the association between low-grade inflammation as indicated by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) level and organizational factors, such as work hours and shift work.

Methods We evaluated 7470 young and middle-aged workers who participated in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2015–2018. Work hours were determined from self-reported questionnaires. Shift work was defined as a non-daytime fixed work schedule. An interaction effect between shift work and long work hours on the hsCRP level was estimated using relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI) and attributable proportion (AP) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results Increased hsCRP levels were prevalent in 25.2% of the study population. There was a significant association between long work hours and increased hsCRP, especially among middle-aged men [odds ratio (OR) 1.50 (95% CI 1.20–1.87) for moderately increased hsCRP and OR 1.62 (95% CI 1.14–2.30) for highly increased hsCRP]. There was a significant interaction effect between long work hours and shift work on increased hsCRP among middle-aged workers. The RERI were 0.03 (95% CI 0.02–0.04) and 0.56 (95% CI 0.45–0.68) among middle-aged men and women, respectively. The AP were 0.02 (95% CI 0.01–0.03) and 0.36 (95% CI 0.31–0.40) among middle-aged men and women, respectively.

Conclusion There was no significant association between shift work and the level of hsCRP. Long work hours were related to low-grade inflammatory processes, but only in middle-aged workers. There was an interaction effect between long work hours and shift work for increased hsCRP, especially in middle-aged women.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2010;36(2):96-108