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Original research
Long working hours, sedentary work, noise, night shifts and risk of ischaemic heart disease
  1. Amanda Eng1,
  2. Hayley J Denison1,
  3. Marine Corbin1,
  4. Lucy Barnes1,
  5. Andrea 't Mannetje1,
  6. Dave McLean1,
  7. Rod Jackson2,
  8. Ian Laird3,
  9. Jeroen Douwes1
  1. 1 Research Centre for Hauora and Health, Massey University – Wellington Campus, Wellington, New Zealand
  2. 2 Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  3. 3 School of Health Sciences, College of Health, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amanda Eng, Research Centre for Hauora and Health, Massey University - Wellington Campus, Wellington 6140, New Zealand; A.J.Eng{at}massey.ac.nz

Abstract

Objective Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is a leading cause of death in Western countries. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between occupational exposure to loud noise, long working hours, shift work, and sedentary work and IHD.

Methods This data linkage study included all New Zealanders employed and aged 20–64 years at the time of the 2013 census, followed up for incident IHD between 2013 and 2018 based on hospitalisation, prescription and death records. Occupation and number of working hours were obtained from the census, and exposure to sedentary work, loud noise and night shift work was assessed using New Zealand job exposure matrices. HRs were calculated for males and females using Cox regression adjusted for age, socioeconomic status, smoking and ethnicity.

Results From the 8 11 470 males and 7 83 207 females employed at the time of the census, 15 012 male (1.9%) and 5595 female IHD cases (0.7%) were identified. For males, there was a modestly higher risk of IHD for the highest category (>90 dBA) of noise exposure (HR 1.19; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.33), while for females exposure prevalence was too low to calculate an HR. Night shift work was associated with IHD for males (HR 1.10; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.14) and females (HR 1.25; 95% CI 1.17 to 1.34). The population attributable fractions for night shift work were 1.8% and 4.6%, respectively. No clear associations with working long hours and sedentary work were observed.

Conclusions This study suggests that occupational exposures to high levels of noise and night shift work might be associated with IHD risk.

  • Epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. No other data are available due to the confidentiality requirements of the Integrated Data Infrastructure.

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. No other data are available due to the confidentiality requirements of the Integrated Data Infrastructure.

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Footnotes

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since Online First publication to correct the spelling of author name Hayley J Denison.

  • Contributors AE (the guarantor) and JD devised the study idea and design. AE conducted the statistical analyses and wrote the manuscript with input from HJD, MC, JD, AtM, and LB. The job exposure matrices were developed with expertise from DM, IL, HJD, AtM and AE. RJ provided advice on the definition of IHD. All authors critically reviewed the manuscript.

  • Funding The study was funded by the Health Research Council (HRC 16/351).

  • Disclaimer These results are not official statistics. They have been created for research purposes from the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) which is carefully managed by Stats NZ. For more information about the IDI please visit https://www.stats.govt.nz/integrated-data/

    Access to the data used in this study was provided by Stats NZ under conditions designed to give effect to the security and confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. The results presented in this study are the work of the author, not Stats NZ or individual data suppliers.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.