Shift work increases the frequency of duodenal ulcer in H pylori infected workers

Department of Internal Medicine, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.
Occupational and environmental medicine (Impact Factor: 3.27). 12/2006; 63(11):773-5. DOI: 10.1136/oem.2006.027367
Source: PubMed


To evaluate whether shift work is associated with an increased rate of peptic ulcer in H pylori infected workers.
During a two year period, consecutive dyspeptic workers underwent non-invasive evaluation of H pylori status by means of urea 13C breath test or stool testing. Those testing positive were included in the study and divided into two main categories: day-time workers and shift workers. An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was performed in all workers, and biopsy specimens were taken from the stomach to confirm the presence of H pylori infection (culture and histology).
A total of 247 day-time workers and 101 shift workers were included. The prevalence of duodenal ulcer was significantly higher in shift workers than in day-time workers (29 of 101 v 23 of 247; OR = 3.92, 95% CI 2.13 to 7.21), and persisted after multivariate analysis, taking into account possible confounding factors (OR = 3.96, 95% CI 2.10 to 7.47).
Shift work increases the ulcerogenic potential of H pylori infection and should be considered a risk factor for duodenal ulcer in infected shift workers. Treatment of infection in this high risk group may improve the health of workers and may reduce the economic impact of peptic ulcer.

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    • "Occupational stresses have been linked to ulcer-like symptoms—especially in those that have poor active coping behaviors or lack good social supports (Chen, Wong, & Yu, 2009). In addition, labor under shift-work schedules is also associated with increased peptic ulcer (Pietroiusti et al., 2006). Although more physically demanding, heavy labor is usually less well paid. "
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