Shift work and metabolic risk factors


  • Napas Taechasan Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University
  • Wiroj Jiamjarasrangsi Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University


shift work, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, diabetes type 2



Shift work is a form of work with unusual working hours, such as early in the morning or late at night. Previous studies have shown that shift work has several health effects including gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory diseases, breast cancer and chronic non-communicable diseases like metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors which include hypertension, prediabetes and diabetes type 2, dyslipidemia, and central obesity contributing to significant causes of cardiovascular disease, such as ischemic heart disease and strokes. The association between shift work and metabolic risk factors have been studied and suggested that shift work increased the incidence of these factors. However, the number of studies and reviews showed the relationship between shift work and all these metabolic risk factors were limited. This review aims to collect the important studies displaying the relationship between shift work, these metabolic risk factors, and the mechanisms contributing to these abnormalities. In addition, the administrative management of shift work schedules and the preparation of shift workers prior to, during and after their shifts were stated. It can be concluded that shift work, particularly night shift work, increases all of the metabolic risk factors through the result of circadian misalignment. The proper design of shift work schedule and the adequate preparation of shift workers can help workers to adapt themselves and decrease effect of shift work on metabolic risk factors.   


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Review Article (บทความวิชาการ)