Health risks among shift workers: A survey of female nurses

Yoram Barak, Anat Achiron, Robert Kimh, Yair Lampl, Ronit Gilad, Avner Elizur, Ida Sarova-Pinhas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The prevalence of health problems among shift workers is not well studied. Irritability, indigestion, heavy use of caffeine, alcohol abuse, and insomnia have all been reported as overrepresented in shift workers. This study evaluated the prevalence of smoking, alcohol consumption, and use of hypnotics, anxiolytics, and antacids, as well as job stress among female nursing personnel in a large metropolitan general hospital. Of the 131 certified female nurses working at least 1 year of shift work - alternating between day, evening, and night shifts - 43.5% were smokers (compared to a rate of 28% among the general population in Israel), 19.1% used antacid, 6.1% consumed alcohol regularly, 4.6% used anxiolytics and 3.1% used hypnotics. Stress on the job was reported by 39.7% of participants and was correlated with smoking (p < .05). Smoking is prevalent in shift workers, especially in nurses reporting job stress. Thus, shift workers should be considered as a high-risk population for smoking-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-533
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Care for Women International
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1996


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