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Lifetime shift work exposure: association with anthropometry, body composition, blood pressure, glucose and heart rate variability
  1. Breno Bernardes Souza1,
  2. Nayara Mussi Monteze2,
  3. Fernando Luiz Pereira de Oliveira3,
  4. José Magalhães de Oliveira4,
  5. Silvia Nascimento de Freitas2,
  6. Raimundo Marques do Nascimento Neto1,
  7. Maria Lilian Sales5,
  8. Gabriela Guerra Leal Souza6
  1. 1School of Medicine, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto, Brazil
  2. 2School of Nutrition, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto, Brazil
  3. 3Department of Statistics, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto, Brazil
  4. 4Institute of Psychiatry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  5. 5São Paulo State Cancer Institute, São Paulo, Brazil
  6. 6Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gabriela Guerra Leal Souza, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Instituto de Ciências Exatas e Biológicas, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Campus Morro do Cruzeiro, s/n, Ouro Preto/MG 35400-000, Brasil; souzaggl{at}


Objective To evaluate the association between lifetime exposure to shift work and blood pressure, fasting glucose (FG), anthropometric variables, body composition and heart rate variability (HRV).

Methods Male shift workers (N=438) were evaluated using principal component (PC) analysis. The variables used were: weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), neck circumference (NC), hip circumference (HC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), body fat mass (BFKg), body fat percentage (BF%), visceral fat area (VFA), FG, systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and HRV variables. ECG was performed, extracting heart rate (HR), root mean square of the successive differences (RMSSD), high frequency (HF), low frequency (LF) and the LF/HF ratio. Using linear regression models, the lifetime shift work exposure was associated with each PC.

Results Five PCs were obtained, which accounted for 79.6% of the total variation of the data. PC1 (weight, BMI, WC, NC, HC, WHR, WHtR, BFKg, BF% and VFA) was designated as body obesity; PC2 (HF, RMSSD and LF) as good cardiac regulation; PC3 (SBP and DBP) as blood pressure; PC4 (LF/HF ratio and HR) as bad cardiac regulation and PC5 (WHR and FG) as insulin resistance. After age adjustment, the regression analysis showed that lifetime shift work was negatively associated with PC2 and positively associated with PC3.

Conclusions The association of lifetime shift work exposure with PC2 and PC3 suggests that shift work promotes unfavourable changes in autonomic cardiac control related to a decrease in parasympathetic modulation and an increase in blood pressure.

  • principal component analysis
  • cardiac autonomic control

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