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Shiftwork and Diurnal Salivary Cortisol Patterns Among Police Officers.

Charles, Luenda E. PhD, MPH; Fekedulegn, Desta PhD; Burchfiel, Cecil M. PhD, MPH; Hartley, Tara A. PhD, MPH; Andrew, Michael E. PhD; Violanti, John M. PhD; Miller, Diane B. MS, PhD
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: Post Author Corrections: April 27, 2016
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000729
Original Article: PDF Only

Objective: To investigate associations between shiftwork and diurnal salivary cortisol among 319 police officers (77.7% men).

Methods: Information on shiftwork was obtained from the City of Buffalo, NY electronic payroll records. Saliva was collected using Salivettes at seven time points and analyzed for free cortisol concentrations (nmol/L) using a chemiluminescence immunoassay. Mean slopes and areas under the curve were compared across shift schedule using analysis of variance (ANOVA)/analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).

Results: Officers working primarily on the night shift had a significantly shallower slope. Mean slope (nmol/L/minutes) of the cortisol curve varied significantly across shifts (day: -0.00332 +/- 0.00017, afternoon: -0.00313 +/- 0.00018, night: -0.00257 +/- 0.0002); adjusted P = 0.023.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that night shiftwork is a workplace factor that may alter the response of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to the circadian cues responsible for the pattern of the diurnal cortisol curve.

Copyright (C) 2016 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine