Shift work is an increasingly common employment structure in the United States and has been associated with increased rates of obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Shift work can necessitate altered patterns of sleep, eating, and activity over traditional work schedules. We investigated the effects of shift work on postoperative weight loss in bariatric surgery patients.A retrospective chart review of 389 patients undergoing laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass was conducted. Shift workers were identified as patients with at least 2 years of employment primarily outside the hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm preoperatively and without return to a traditional schedule in the period up to 1 year postoperatively. Trends in excess body weight loss were categorized and compared between the shift workers and the non-shift workers in the cohort. Student's t-test was used for statistical analysis.8 shift workers were identified in the cohort. They had an average age of 45.9 years and preoperative BMI of 54.6, as compared to an age of 43.6 and BMI of 47.0 for the non-shift-workers in the cohort. 75% were female, compared to 83% for the non-shift-workers. Average postoperative excess weight loss for the shift workers was significantly lower than in the non-shift-workers: 29.9% vs 43.8% (P < .01) at 3 months, 46.4% vs 61.3% (P < .01) at 6 months, and 56.5% vs 76.8% (P < .01) at 12 months.The postoperative period in bariatric surgery requires significant adjustments in patients' lives. The potential for altered sleep physiology, reduced quantity of sleep, altered hormonal balance, increased tendency to disordered eating, and poorer quality of food intake, are all possible etiologies for substandard weight loss outcomes in shift workers undergoing bariatric surgery. Additional care should be taken in preoperative counseling and postoperative management of these patients.
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View details for PubMedID 17658014