Shift work exposures can accelerate metabolic syndrome (MetS) development among the large population of middle-aged males with elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (e-ALT) is a common abnormality of health examinations in middle-aged working populations. It is unavoidable nowadays that a large number of asymptomatic workers with e-ALT may be asked to do rotating shift work on 24 h production lines. In some previous studies, e-ALT and shift work had been independently assessed for their associations with MetS, which is associated with cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death among working populations.
In terms of workplace health management and job arrangements, a five-year follow-up study assessing the association between rotating shift work (RSW) and MetS development was conducted in Taiwan for male workers. In some previous studies, e-ALT and shift work had been independently assessed for their associations with MetS, which is associated with cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death among working populations.
A research article wrote by Dr. Yu-Cheng Lin et al from Tao-Yuan General Hospital, Taiwan, has recently been published on December 07, 2009 in World Journal of Gastroenterology took both risk factors together into consideration, and demonstrated significant findings. In Lin's study, after a five-year interval, the workers with baseline e-ALT had significantly unfavorable changes in MetS-component abnormalities, and higher rates of MetS development, vs subjects with normal baseline ALT. Particularly, workers who had both baseline e-ALT and long-term RSW exposures had the highest rate of MetS development among four subgroups divided by e-ALT and RSW. Statistically, e-ALT-plus-RSW workers had a significant risk for MetS development.
Lin et al stated that, MetS development among middle-aged males with e-ALT should be carefully monitored. In terms of job arrangements, long-term shift workers with e-ALT deserve special attention for MetS development. They suggested that all workers with e-ALT should be carefully evaluated and managed for MetS. Particularly, MetS risk assessment must be emphasized for male employees with e-ALT facing long-term rotating shift work exposures.
Public health experts agreed that this is an important area of research, given the amount of shift work performed around the globe, particularly when proponents claim that shift working is 'beneficial' to the health and safety of those concerned.
Lin YC, Hsiao TJ, Chen PC. Shift work aggravates metabolic syndrome development among early-middle-aged males with elevated ALT. World J Gastroenterol 2009; 15(45): 5654-5661
Correspondence to: Pau-Chung Chen, MD, PhD, Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, No. 17, Xu-Zhou Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan, China. firstname.lastname@example.org
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World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2008 IF: 2.081. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.
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