Shift Work and female reproductive system

Metabolic syndrome is one of the most important illnesses of the recent century. However it is a set of symptoms; namely hypertension, dyslipidemia, dysglycemia and abdominal obesity; which occur secondary to insulin resistance. But people with metabolic syndrome are at the risk of developing cardiovascular disease; ischemic stroke, diabetes mellitus,osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer, with increased disability and mortality risks.

 It involves a variety of contributing factors; including lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors; stress, sex number of parities and shift work. Shift work is define as working night shifts between 6:00 p.m. to 07:00 a.m. It can negatively affect circadian rhythm, and thereby;  however cause alterations in the secretion of hormones; such as growth hormone, melatonin, cortisol, leptin and ghrelin. Alterations to these hormones may affect body metabolism; but reduce glucose tolerance and increase insulin resistance. However the current study aim to evaluate the association between; shift works with metabolic syndrome during reproductive age.

 Multi-center cross-sectional cor relational study

419 participants were recruited if they were between 18 and 45 years old, married and had >2 years of work experience. A questionnaire was use to assess participant demographical, occupational and reproductive characteristics. Participant health-associated behaviors were assess through questions regarding cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, sleep quantity and quality, and physical activity. But participants were divide into two main groups based on the work schedules, day workers and shift workers.

Shift workers were those participants who worked 3 shifts of 8 h. Shift worker and day worker participants were compare with each other respecting their demographical, occupational, and reproductive characteristics and health-associated behavior using the independent-sample t, Chi-square and the Fisher’s exact tests. Logistic regression analysis was performe to determine the effect of shift work on the odds of metabolic syndrome.

Statistical data analysis

It was perform on the data collect from 391 participants. A total of 196 shift workers and 195 day workers were include. The mean age and work experience of participants were 36.12±5.21 and 12.38±5.92 years, respectively. Shift workers had significantly higher levels of occupational stress; compare with day workers (P=0.02) .The total prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 16.3%.The rate among shift workers and day workers was 17.3 and 14.9%, respectively, with no statistically significant between-group difference.

The most prevalent components of metabolic syndrome among participants were low serum HDL level (88%) and abdominal obesity (73%).  The logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the odds of metabolic syndrome among shift workers was nearly two times greater compare with day workers (odds ratio, 1.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.088-3.79; P=0.10.However, the  study findings also demonstrate that shift work doubled the risk of metabolic syndrome.

A probable explanation for the higher risk of metabolic syndrome among female shift workers in the current study may be their lower serum HDL level compare to their day worker counterparts. The  study  demonstrate that sleep quantity and quality among shift workers were significantly less compared with that of day workers, and the majority of shift workers report that they have inadequate sleep. However, the results of the current study revealed that shift work is associated with greater risk of metabolic syndrome among women of reproductive age.