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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182572e6a
Original Articles

The Effects of Shift Work and Interaction Between Shift Work and Overweight/Obesity on Low Back Pain in Nurses: Results From a Longitudinal Study

Zhao, Isabella RN, BN, BN (Hons I), PhD; Bogossian, Fiona RN, DipAppSci, BAppSci, MPH, PhD, MACMI; Turner, Catherine RN, BA, Grad Dip Ed, MN, PhD

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Objective: To examine whether shift work is a risk factor for low back pain (LBP) and the interaction effects of shift work and overweight/obesity on LBP over time among nurses.

Methods: A longitudinal study over 2 years. Measurements included reported LBP, shift work status, and selected potential confounders.

Results: Among 928 LBP-free nurses at baseline, 319 (34.4%) developed LBP over 2 years. After adjusting for confounders, shift workers were 1.15 times more likely to develop LBP (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.15; 95% confidence interval, 1.05 to 1.40; P = 0.03). The interaction analysis showed that overweight/obese shift workers were more likely to develop LBP than day workers (overweight: aOR, 1.23 vs aOR, 1.03, respectively; obesity: aOR, 1.34 vs aOR, 1.10, respectively).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that shift workers are at a higher risk of developing LBP over time, especially those who are overweight/obese.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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