Lifetime shift work exposure: association with anthropometry, body composition, blood pressure, glucose and heart rate variability
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.