Objectives The main objective was to determine whether sleep duration on work shifts mediates the relationship between a current alternating day and night shift work schedule and metabolic syndrome among female hospital employees. The secondary objective was to assess whether cumulative lifetime shift work exposure was associated with metabolic syndrome.
Methods In this cross-sectional study of 294 female hospital employees, sleep duration was measured with the ActiGraph GT3X+. Shift work status was determined through self-report. Investigation of the total, direct and indirect effects between shift work, sleep duration on work shifts and metabolic syndrome was conducted using regression path analysis. Logistic regression was used to determine the association between cumulative shift work exposure and metabolic syndrome.
Results Shift work is strongly associated with metabolic syndrome (ORTotal=2.72, 95% CI 1.38 to 5.36), and the relationship is attenuated when work shift sleep duration is added to the model (ORDirect=1.18, 95% CI 0.49 to 2.89). Sleep duration is an important intermediate between shift work and metabolic syndrome (ORIndirect=2.25, 95% CI 1.27 to 4.26). Cumulative shift work exposure is not associated with metabolic syndrome in this population.
Conclusions Sleep duration mediates the association between a current alternating day–night shift work pattern and metabolic syndrome.
- Shift Work
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Contributors JK was responsible for the conceptualisation of this project. She conducted most data cleaning and all statistical analyses, interpreted the results, and prepared and wrote the manuscript. JT is the primary investigator of the overall study from which this project is based, and a cosupervisor of this specific project. She conceptualised and designed the overall study along with coinvestigators, contributed to the interpretation of results and made revisions to this paper. AD contributed to the analytical plan and provided revisions of this paper. KJA is a coinvestigator of the overall study and was the primary supervisor of this specific project. She was involved in study design, provided statistical guidance, assisted in the interpretation of results and made revisions to this manuscript.
Funding This study was funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (Ontario).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval Queen’s University Health Sciences Research Ethics Board.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.