Assessment of Overweight, Obesity and Hypertension among Shift and Day time Factory Workers in Wonji Shoa Sugar Factory, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Background: Stable circadian rhythm is important for proper functioning of the physiological activities of the body. Shift work, including night work, has been hypothesized to increase the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Recent reviews of evidence relating to these relationships support the hypothesis. However, few studies have attempted to establish the role of shift-work in determining chronic diseases risk factors in a developing country setting. Therefore, the present study attempted to address this knowledge gap by assessing the magnitude and determinant factors of chronic disease risk factors among shift workers and day workers. Objective: To determine and compare the levels of risk factors for selected chronic non communicable diseases (obesity and hypertension) among shift and day time workers in Wonji Shoa sugar factory workers, Ethiopia. Method: A comparative cross sectional study was conducted from October, 2011 – December, 2011 in Wonji Shoa sugary factory, East shoa, Oromia Region. The study participants were 836 factory workers (418 shift workers and 418 day time workers) who have worked at least for five years. Data was collected using a pretested structured questionnaire, and weight, height, waist circumference and blood pressure was measured using standardized weighing scale, measuring board and digital sphygmomanometer respectively. Data was entered using Epi- info version 3.4 and analyzed by SPSS version 16. A descriptive statistics, bivarate and multivariate analysis was done as appropriate. Result: Overall the prevalence overweight/obesity among the factory workers was 34.1% (95% CI=30.9%, 37.3%); 15.7% among shift workers versus 18.4% among daytime workers. Shift workers were 39% more likely to be overweight/obese compared with day time workers although the difference was not statistically significant [AOR (95% CI) = 1.39 (0.93, 2.09)]. Overall the prevalence of obesity among the factory workers was 4.2% (3.1% among shift workers versus 5.3% among daytime workers; (95% CI=2.8%, 5.6%). But, the difference was not statistically significant [AOR (95% CI) = 1.0 (0.44, 2.26)]. X The prevalence of hypertension was 36.4% (95% CI=33.1%, 39.7%), 21.3% among shift workers versus 15.1% among daytime workers; shift workers being significantly more likely to be hypertensive compared with their day time counterparts [AOR (95% CI) = 1.48 (1.02, 2.14)]. Shift workers were also significantly more likely to be smokers (13.1% versus 6.5%; P-value< 0.05). Factors associated with overweight/obesity include female sex (AOR ;95% CI = 1.97 (1.26, 3.08), older age (AOR; 95% CI=3.15(1.23,8.07), higher educational status (AOR; 95% CI=1.53(1.003,2.32), higher income quintile (AOR; 95% CI=7.28(3.81,13.89), more working experience in the factory (COR; 95% CI=1.59(1.00,2.51) and non smoking habits (AOR; 95% CI=2.25(1.15,4.39). In contrast, the condition of being a shift worker was associated with hypertension (AOR; 95%CI=1.48(1.02, 2.14) along with older age (AOR; 95% CI=3.99(1.65, 9.67), higher income quintile (AOR; 95% CI=3.24(1.78, 5.89), and family history of hypertension (AOR; 95% CI=2.24(1.54, 3.26). Conclusions and Recommendations: The present study has identified working in a shift is associated with higher odds of having hypertension and overweight/obesity though the later was not statistically significant regardless of difference in age, gender, physical activity and dietary habits. Shift workers were also more likely to be smokers, which is an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, efficient health screening and regular checkups combined with support in controlling unhealthy lifestyle factors has the potential to be of considerable benefit in maintaining the health of shift workers.



Assessment of Overweight, Obesity and Hypertension