People who work in shifts are more likely to have a diet that promotes chronic inflammation, say researchers.
Michael Wirth, MSPH, PhD, of the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and colleagues analyzed the relationship between shiftwork and pro-inflammatory diet using data from a nationwide sample of employed adults.
Based on diet questionnaires, the researchers calculated a "dietary inflammatory index" (DII) for each individual. The greater the DII score, the more pro-inflammatory the diet.
With adjustment for other factors, shiftworkers had an elevated DII, compared to day workers. The difference was significant for rotating shiftworkers (those who worked varying shifts): average DII 1.07, compared to 0.86 for day workers.
Women had higher DII values than men. Among women, the DII was higher for evening or night shiftworkers compared to day workers: 1.48 versus 1.17.
Shiftwork has been linked to increased risks of disease, including high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
The study has been published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.