Shift Work and the Risk of Coronary Artery Disease: A Cardiac Computed Tomography Angiography Study

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Aims: Shift work disrupts the normal circadian rhythm and is associated with risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) and a higher incidence of CAD morbidity and mortality. Cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is a robust noninvasive modality for assessing the presence, extent, and severity of CAD. We sought to investigate whether shift workers are prone to a higher burden of CAD compared to non-shift workers. Methods: We conducted a historically prospective study in consecutive patients who underwent CCTA and answered a telephonic questionnaire. Due to significant differences in age and gender, we compared 89 well-matched pairs of shift workers and non-shift workers with the use of propensity scores. Results: Our cohort consisted of 349 participants, of whom 94 (26.9%) were shift workers. The mean age was 50.7 years, and 62.5% were males. After pairing, we showed that shift workers had a higher prevalence of CAD than non-shift workers (74.2 vs. 53.9%, respectively, p = 0.01), and a lower prevalence of coronary calcium scores of zero (46.8 vs. 63.4%, respectively, p = 0.034). Stenosis >50% was more prevalent in shift workers than in non-shift workers (20.2 vs. 11.2%, respectively, p = 0.006), and the extent of CAD (defined as the presence of ≥1-vessel disease) tended to be higher in shift workers than in non-shift workers (25.8 vs. 13.5%, respectively, p = 0.06). Conclusions: In this CCTA study, we showed in a well-matched cohort of consecutive patients that shift workers had a higher prevalence and extent of CAD than non-shift workers.

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