For Female Nurses, Working Nights Tied to Increased BMI

Small but significant increase for female nurses working night or mixed shifts versus day shifts

THURSDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Female nurses working night or mixed shifts have higher body mass index (BMI) scores compared with nurses who work regular daytime schedules, according to a study published in the February issue of Applied Nursing Research.

To examine the correlation between shift schedule and BMI, Peter Smith, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Monash University in Australia, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis using data from 9,291 participants in the National Survey on the Work and Health of Nurses.

The researchers observed a small, but statistically significant, difference in BMI scores based on shift schedule categories. Female nurses working night or mixed shift schedules had higher BMI scores, compared with those working a regular daytime schedule. This association was not attenuated by adjustment for working conditions and employer supported facilities.

"The potential public health importance of this relationship requires further investigation given the small, but statistically significant, differences observed in this sample," the authors write.

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