Cardiovascular diseases cause >4 million deaths each year in Europe alone. Preventive approaches that do not only consider individual risk factors but their interaction, such as the Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE), are recommended by European guidelines. Increased cardiovascular risk is associated with shift-work, surely interacting with the concurrent conditions: disruption of sleep, unhealthy behaviours, and circadian misalignment. Social jetlag (SJL) has been proposed as a way to quantify circadian misalignment. We therefore investigated the association between SJL and cardiovascular health in a cross-sectional observational study involving blue-collar workers, who either worked permanent morning, evening, or night shifts. Sociodemographic, health and productivity data were collected through questionnaires. Blood pressure and cholesterol were measured and the cardiovascular risk was estimated according to the relative risk SCORE chart. Bivariate analysis was performed according to the cardiovascular risk and the relationship between SJL and high cardiovascular risk was analysed through logistic regression. Cumulative models were performed, adjusted for various confounding factors. After 49 exclusions, the final sample comprised 301 workers (56% males; aged <40 years, 73%). Mean standard deviation (SD) SJL was 1:57 (1:38) hr (59.4% ≤2 hr). Cardiovascular risk was high in 20% of the sample. Multivariate analysis revealed SJL to be an independent risk factor for high cardiovascular risk. Each additional hour of SJL increased this risk by >30% (odds ratio 1.31, 95% confidence interval 1.02–1.68). This is the first study indicating that SJL potentially increases cardiovascular risk, and suggests that sleep and individual circadian qualities are critical in preventing negative health impacts of shift-work.
- circadian misalignment