Shift-Work Sleep Disorder Linked to Low Testosterone, Increased Hypogonadal Symptoms: Presented at AUA

By Maria Bishop

BOSTON -- May 19, 2017 -- Male shift workers have poorer libido and less energy than their daytime counterparts, but those with shift-work sleep disorder (SWSD) have far worse hypogonadal symptoms and lower testosterone levels, according to a study presented here at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA).

Edgar Kirby IV, MD, Baylor University, Houston, Texas, and colleagues analysed 2,487 responses to a 10-point questionnaire from men presenting to a single andrology clinic between July 2014 and September 2016. The questionnaire assessed shift work schedule, SWSD risk, and hypogonadal symptoms using the quantitative Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male (qADAM) questionnaire.

In all, 766 of the 2,487 men (30.8%) reported working non standard shifts in the past month. A total of 282 of these men (36.8%) were at high risk for SWSD.

Those at high risk for SWSD had far worse hypogonadal symptoms than the other respondents -- most significantly, a decrease in libido, lack of energy, decrease in strength and/or endurance, decreased enjoyment of life, and increase in falling asleep after dinner.

High risk for SWSD also was independently associated with lower testosterone levels (mean decrease, 100.4 ng/dL; P < .01), when controlling for age, comorbidities, and history of testosterone supplementation.

Non-standard shift workers had qADAM scores 0.8 points lower than those of daytime workers (P < .01), when controlled for age, co-morbidities, and testosterone levels. Those with SWSD had qADAM scores 3.9 points lower than in men without SWSD (P < .01).

“These findings suggest that poor sleep habits, as identified by SWSD, may contribute to the more severe hypogonadal symptoms seen in non-standard shift workers,” the authors concluded.

[Presentation title: Increased Risk of Hypogonadal Symptoms in Shift Workers With Shift Work Sleep Disorder. Abstract MP91-06]

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