For employees of the health sector, shift work is associated with increased risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS), according to a study published in Obesity Reviews. Piumika Sooriyaarachchi, PhD-candidate, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature to examine the association between shift work and the risk for Met in employees of the health sector. Eligible studies compared the prevalence of MetS between day and shift healthcare workers; 12 studies met the inclusion criteria. Sample sizes in the studies ranged from 42 to 738 participants, and subject age ranged from 18-65. Ten studies demonstrated higher risk for developing MetS for shift workers versus day workers. Based on 12 studies, the pooled OR for MetS in shift workers was 2.17. “To safeguard shift workers from MetS, health promotion programs as well as other interventional strategies to adopt healthy environmental
and behavioral changes should be introduced,” the study authors wrote. “In addition, organizations should streamline the shift work system with well-designed rotational shift schedules to allow employees to maintain work/life balance.”