Effects of Prolonged Night Shifts on Salivary α-Amylase, Secretory Immunoglobulin, Cortisol, and Chromogranin A Levels in Nurses

DOI: 10.4236/health.2014.615236   PDF   HTML     3,396 Downloads   4,156 Views   Citations


Prolonged night shift is associated with high burnout rate, but the physiological effects of a 16 h shift remain undetermined. Here we evaluated fatigue and stress via salivary assays to determine the correlation between stress and fatigue and prolonged night shifts. Twenty-five nurses (9 men, 16 women; 16 h night shift (n = 13), 8 h day shift (n = 12)) from Juntendo University Koshigaya Hospital were evaluated for four consecutive workdays separated by off days. Salivary samples were collected upon waking and before sleep on non-working days, before and after the day and night shifts, and before and after the break during the nocturnal schedule, and analyzed for levels of cortisol, chromogranin A, α-amylase activity and secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA). On non-working days, cortisol levels showed similar kinetic pattern in both nurses. On working days, day-time nurses’ cortisol levels showed normal circadian pattern throughout the shift. Night nurses’ cortisol levels at the beginning of the shift were comparable to that of the normal morning elevation. α-Amylase activity in the night shift nurses was higher than day shift nurses through each period. No significant differences in chromogranin A and sIgA levels were detected between day and night shift workers. A 16 h night shift may cause marked circadian misalignment in cortisol levels.

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Morita, Y. , Aida, H. , Yamaguchi, T. , Azuma, M. , Suzuki, S. , Suetake, N. , Yukishita, T. , Lee, K. and Kobayashi, H. (2014) Effects of Prolonged Night Shifts on Salivary α-Amylase, Secretory Immunoglobulin, Cortisol, and Chromogranin A Levels in Nurses. Health, 6, 2014-2025. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.615236.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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