Exploring the Association of Shift work and Cardiovascular Disease – A Systematic Review


Deepalaxmi Rathakrishnan, Melina Sahay, Melvin George
Department of Clinical Research, Hindu Mission Hospital, Tambaram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Damal Kandadai Sriram,
Department of Diabetology and Endocrinology, Hindu Mission Hospital, Tambaram, Chennai,Tamil Nadu, India.


Globally, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) account for 17.9 million deaths annually, making them the leading cause of death. Circadian rhythm plays a big part in the sleep-wake cycle. Exposure to night shift work has been reported to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. This review aimed to explore the relationship between shift work and cardiovascular illness comprehensively based on the literature from the last five years. We conducted a thorough search on Google Scholar and PubMed to locate clinical to identify manuscripts published between February 2018 and January 2023. Randomized controlled trials and observational studies that assessed the relationship between shift work and cardiovascular disease in patients were included. Except original articles, all other types of articles were excluded. This review comprised of 15 articles chosen from a total of 1005 articles. The study included a total of 13,37,247 cohort participants (both male and female). While compared to daytime work, night shift work was related with a marginal increase of cardiovascular disease risk. The shift employment with occupational cardiovascular disease mortality was reported mostly on female nurses. The results indicated that those working night shifts typically lead unhealthy lifestyles, behavioral issues (meal skipping), and metabolic aberrations (biochemical imbalances), but it is not yet clearly known if this increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Circadian misalignment has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular illnesses in night shift than in day shift workers, where intensity, duration, and type of work are also to be considered. Alleviating traditional risk factors such as sedentary life style, high blood pressure, glycemic control and smoking requires greater attention in shift workers owing to the greater propensity to develop cardiovascular disease in this population.