A recently published article on a 5-year follow-up study discusses the association between rotating shift work and metabolic syndrome development among male workers. The researchers found that shift work exposures can accelerate metabolic syndrome development among middle-aged males with elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT).

According to the article authors, elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (e-ALT) is a common abnormality of health examinations in middle-aged working populations.

At the 5-year interval, workers with baseline e-ALT had significantly unfavorable changes in metabolic syndrome-component abnormalities, and higher rates of metabolic syndrome development when compared to subjects with normal baseline ALT. Particularly, workers who had both baseline e-ALT and long-term rotating shift work exposures had the highest rate of metabolic syndrome development among four subgroups divided by e-ALT and rotating shift work. Statistically, e-ALT-plus-rotating shift work workers had a significant risk for metabolic syndrome development.

The authors, from Tao-Yuan General Hospital, Taiwan, pointed out that metabolic syndrome development among middle-aged males with e-ALT should be carefully monitored. In terms of job arrangements, long-term shift workers with e-ALT deserve special attention for metabolic syndrome development.

The study appears in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.