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Med Pregl. 2012 Nov-Dec;65(11-12):461-9.

Night work, total occupational burden and cancer/cardiovascular risk factors in physicians.

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Department of Oncology/Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.



Lifestyle-related risk factors: smoking, obesity, sedentariness and excess alcohol intake are among the most important known causes of cancer and cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between these lifestyle-related risk factors for cancer/cardiovascular disease and working conditions among surgeons/anesthesiologists and other physicians.


The study was carried out among physicians aged 35 to 60, without diagnosed coronary heart disease or other structural heart disease, who were employed at the Novi Sad University Hospital. The participation rate was high (> 90%). The physicians completed the Occupational Stress Index. Low lifestyle-related cancer/cardiovascular risk was defined as: not a current smoker, body mass index < 28, regular recreational physical activity and not consuming alcohol every day. Analysis of covariance was performed.


Of 191 physicians included in this study only 23 (12.0%) had a low lifestyle-related cancer/cardiovascular risk. Surgeons/anesthesiologists faced a heavier total work stressor burden than physicians in other profiles (87.7 +/- 8.8 versus 74.1 +/- 10.5, p=0.000). Among the 56 surgeons/anesthesiologists, lower nightshift work scores were associated with low lifestyle-related cancer/cardiovascular risk (F=4.19, p=0.046). A lower overall work stressor burden was associated with low risk among the other 135 physicians (F=4.06, p=0.046).


Specific workplace intervention strategies are urgently needed. Among the surgeons/anesthesiologists these should include reduction in the frequency of night call and improvement of the overall conditions of nightshift work. Among other physicians, the total occupational burden needs to be diminished.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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