The Association between Shift Work and Treatment-seeking Migraine in Denmark

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

In Europe, the one-year prevalence of migraine is 14.9% and migraine is on the top-ten list of leading causes of years lost to disability. Sleep disturbances and irregular daily routines are considered triggers of migraine and these factors are well-known consequences of shift work. We studied the association between treatment-seeking migraine and shift work, categorised as fixed evening work, fixed night work and variable working hours with and without night work in a Danish working population of 5,872 participants. When compared with fixed day workers, only participants with fixed evening work were found to have significantly increased odds of reporting treatment-seeking migraine after adjustment for socio-demographic and behavioural covariates (OR=1.56; 95% CI 1.05-2.32). Participants with seniority of ten years or more notably accounted for this association. Due to the cross-sectional design, selection mechanisms may have biased the results.

Practitioner Summary: The study showed higher odds of treatment-seeking migraine among evening workers even when taking a range of potential confounders into account. Due to the cross-sectional design, we cannot draw any causal inferences, but potential mechanisms underlying the present study are discussed, with an emphasis on possible selection into evening work.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1207–1217
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ID: 173051816