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Sleep, Obesity, and Injury Among US Male Career Firefighters

Kaipust, Christopher M., PhD, MPH; Jahnke, Sara A., PhD; Poston, Walker S.C., PhD, MPH; Jitnarin, Nattinee, PhD; Haddock, Christopher K., PhD; Delclos, George L., MD, MPH, PhD; Day, Rena S., PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2019 - Volume 61 - Issue 4 - p e150–e154
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001559

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the role of obesity on the association between sleep and on-duty injury among male career firefighters.

Methods: Data on 1419 male career firefighters for this cross-sectional study came from two firefighter cohorts from 2008 to 2013. On-duty injury within the past 6 to 12 months was the dependent variable and getting enough sleep was the independent variable. A multivariable, mixed effect logistic regression model stratified by body mass index (BMI) categories was created to examine the presence of effect measure modification.

Results: Only obese firefighters who did not get enough sleep were twice as likely to have an on-duty injury than those who got enough sleep. This association was not significant among normal or overweight firefighters.

Conclusions: Future studies into on-duty injury and sleep should examine body composition as an effect modifier among career firefighters.

Center for Fire, Rescue & EMS Health Research, National Development & Research Institutes, Leawood, Kansas (Dr Kaipust, Dr Jahnke, Dr Poston, Dr Jitnarin, Dr Haddock); Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, Texas (Dr Kaipust, Dr Day, Dr Delclos).

Address correspondence to: Christopher M. Kaipust, PhD, MPH, 1920 W 143rd Street, Suite 120, Leawood, KS 66224 (

Clinical Significance: Health care professionals should discuss weight management and sleep habits with male career firefighters to improve personal health and occupational health and safety, particularly on-duty injury.

Funding: Assistance to Firefighters Grants program managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the Department of Homeland Security (EMW-2007-FP-02571 and EMW-2009-FP-01971).

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) Education and Research Center Grant No. 5T42OH008421.

Conflicts of Interest: None Declared.

Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine