Scientific article
Open access

The Effects of Shift Work on Cardio-Metabolic Diseases and Eating Patterns

Published inNutrients, vol. 13, no. 11, 4178
Publication date2021-11-22
First online date2021-11-22

Energy metabolism is tightly linked with circadian rhythms, exposure to ambient light, sleep/wake, fasting/eating, and rest/activity cycles. External factors, such as shift work, lead to a disruption of these rhythms, often called circadian misalignment. Circadian misalignment has an impact on some physiological markers. However, these proxy measurements do not immediately translate into major clinical health outcomes, as shown by later detrimental health effects of shift work and cardio-metabolic disorders. This review focuses on the effects of shift work on circadian rhythms and its implications in cardio-metabolic disorders and eating patterns. Shift work appears to be a risk factor of overweight, obesity, type 2 diabetes, elevated blood pressure, and the metabolic syndrome. However, past studies showed discordant findings regarding the changes of lipid profile and eating patterns. Most studies were either small and short lab studies, or bigger and longer cohort studies, which could not measure health outcomes in a detailed manner. These two designs explain the heterogeneity of shift schedules, occupations, sample size, and methods across studies. Given the burden of non-communicable diseases and the growing concerns about shift workers’ health, novel approaches to study shift work in real contexts are needed and would allow a better understanding of the interlocked risk factors and potential mechanisms involved in the onset of metabolic disorders.

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Circadian misalignment
  • Eating patterns
  • Metabolic disease
  • Shift work
Citation (ISO format)
HEMMER, Alexandra et al. The Effects of Shift Work on Cardio-Metabolic Diseases and Eating Patterns. In: Nutrients, 2021, vol. 13, n° 11, p. 4178. doi: 10.3390/nu13114178
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2072-6643

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