Shift Workers Have Higher Blood Pressure Medicine Use, But Only When They Are Short Sleepers: A Longitudinal UK Biobank Study
Lozano, Alicia J.
Malone, Susan K.
Hanlon, Alexandra L.
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Background-Some, but not all, studies report associations between shift work and hypertension, suggesting that particular subgroups may be at risk. We examined moderating effects of sleep duration and circadian preference on the relationship between shift work and new blood pressure (BP) medicine use at follow-up. Methods and Results-Baseline and 5-year follow-up data from the UK Biobank cohort (N=9200) were used to generate logistic regression models for shift workers and nonshift workers. The moderating effects of sleep duration (short <= 6 hours; adequate 7-8 hours; long >= 9 hours) and circadian preference (morning "larks;" intermediate; evening "owls") at baseline were examined with new BP medicine use at follow-up, adjusting for age, sex, race, education, employment, urban/rural, cardiovascular disease family history, depression, alcohol intake, physical activity, diet, smoking, and body mass index. The sample was predominately middle aged (55.3 +/- 7.4), female (57.3%), and white (97.9%). Most reported adequate sleep duration (7-8 hours, 73.7%) and were intermediate type (65.3%); 8.0% were shift workers at baseline. Only 6.5% reported new BP medicine use at follow-up. Short sleep duration was a significant moderator of new BP medicine use in shift workers. Among short sleepers, shift workers had a 2.1-fold increased odds of new BP medicine use compared with nonshift workers (odds ratio=2.08, 95% CI=1.21-3.58, P=0.008). In those reporting adequate (odds ratio=0.82, 95% CI=0.54-1.25, P=0.35) and long sleep (odds ratio=0.64, 95% CI=0.11-3.54, P=0.60), this relationship was protective but nonsignificant. Interaction between circadian preference and shift work on BP medicine use was nonsignificant. Conclusions-Shift workers with short sleep duration may be at risk for hypertension.