Metabolic syndrome and shift work: a systematic review

Sleep Med Rev. 2013 Dec;17(6):425-31. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2012.10.004. Epub 2013 Mar 24.


The aim of this systematic review was to examine the association between shift work and metabolic syndrome (MetS) as well as the potential confounders investigated. A systematic search was conducted with the aim of finding original articles on the association between shift work and MetS. The included articles were chosen based on established inclusion criteria; their methodological quality was assessed using a validated quality checklist. A total of 10 articles were included in this review. The majority of the studies were classified as having a low risk of bias. The definitions of MetS and shift work varied between studies. Among the ten studies, eight found a positive association between shift work and MetS after controlling for socio-demographic and behavioral factors. Only three studies included sleep duration as a confounder, and these studies presented discordant results. We conclude that there was insufficient evidence regarding the association between shift work and prevalent MetS when the confounders are taken into account.

Keywords: HDL cholesterol; HR; IDF; International Diabetes Federation; MetS; Metabolic syndrome; NCEP ATP; National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel; SES; Shift work; Sleep disorders; Systematic review; hazard ratio; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; metabolic syndrome; socioeconomic status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / complications*
  • Work Schedule Tolerance / physiology