Background: Night shift work surrounding pregnancy may contribute to the risk of developing atopic diseases in offspring due to alterations in the prenatal environment, from stress.
Objective: To examine the association of maternal night shift work surrounding pregnancy and offspring risk of developing atopic diseases from childhood to adolescence.
Methods: We examined the association between night shift work before and during pregnancy among 4,044 mothers in the Nurses' Health Study II (NHSII) and atopic dermatitis, asthma and hay fever risk in 4,813 of their offspring enrolled in the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS). Mothers reported whether GUTS participants had ever been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, asthma or hay fever in the GUTS Mothers' questionnaire. Generalized estimating equation regression models were used to estimate multivariable adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results: There were no significant associations between pre-conception maternal night shift work and risk of atopic dermatitis, asthma or hay fever in their offspring. Among 545 mothers with information on night shift work during pregnancy, shift work also was not associated with atopic dermatitis, asthma or hay fever in the offspring. Stratified analyses by history of parental atopy and maternal chronotype showed some statistically significant findings, but they were inconsistent and no significant interaction was seen with increasing duration of night shift work.
Conclusion: In this study, night shift work before and during pregnancy did not increase offspring risk of developing atopic dermatitis, asthma or hay fever.