Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1999;25(3):272-277    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.434

Impact of shift work on cardiovascular functions in a 10-year follow-up study

by Murata K, Yano E, Shinozaki T

Objectives The purpose of this study was to determine whether shift work affects the heart-rate-adjusted QT interval (QTc) in electorcardiography (ECG) and the blood pressure of workers without overt cardiovascular dysfunction.

Methods At a copper smelter, 158 shift workers and 75 day workers who underwent an ECG examination and blood pressure measurements in 1986 were followed for 10 years. In 1996, biochemical indicators such as high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides were measured, together with the QTc.

Results In 1986 and 1996, the QTc was significantly longer in the shift workers than in the day workers. Of 180 workers with a normal QTc (<420 ms1/2) in 1986, 15% had developed a prolonged QTc (420 ms1/2) in 1996 (18% of the 117 shift workers and 11% of the 63 day workers). Among the workers with a normal QTc in 1986, the shift workers had a significantly longer QTc than the day workers when the QTc was examined in 1996. In addition, shift-day work in the group with a normal QTc was significantly related to the QTc in 1996 after control for age, work duration, biochemical indicators, smoking, and drinking habits. However, the blood pressures of the shift and day workers did not differ significantly, and in 1996 the values of both groups were significantly elevated.
Conclusions These data suggest that shift work is associated with QTc prolongation. This evidence may explain the increased risk for cardiovascular diseases due to shift work.

The following articles refer to this text: 2004;30(2):149-156; 2007;33(6):425-434; 2008;34(1):33-39