The association between mental health and shift work: Findings from the Atlantic PATH study

Journal: Preventive Medicine

Authors: Ellen Sweeney, Yunsong Cui, Zhijie Michael Yu, Trevor JB Dummer, Vanessa DeClercq, Cynthia Forbes, Scott A Grandy, Melanie R Keats, Anil Adisesh


We evaluated the relationship between mental health and shift work in the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (PATH) cohort study. In a matched study with 12,413 participants, including 4155 shift workers and 8258 non-shift workers, we utilized general linear models and logistic regression models to assess the differences in depression, anxiety, and self-rated health. Shift workers reported higher levels of each of the mental health-related domains compared to non-shift workers. There was a significant increased risk of depression (OR = 1.13, 95% CI, 1.00–1.27) and poor self-rated health (OR = 1.13, 95% CI, 1.14–1.55) among shift workers compared to non-shift workers. Shift workers were more likely to have increased rates of depression and poor self-rated health, as well as depressive and anxiety symptom scores compared to non-shift workers. As a result, shift workers may be at increased risk of comorbidity, poor quality of life, missed work, and early retirement.