Nonstandard shifts and a circadian rhythm disturbance known as shift work sleep disorder contribute to a significant increase in urinary tract symptoms and reproductive problems, according to three studies conducted at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
“A 45-year-old shift worker with shift work sleep disorder might look like a 75-year-old man in terms of his lower urinary tract symptoms,” John Sigalos, a medical student and investigator on one of the studies, said here at the American Urological Association 2017 Annual Meeting.
The other studies presented demonstrate that male shift workers with shift work sleep disorder have lower testosterone levels and more hypogonadal symptoms than daytime workers, and that infertile shift workers, especially those who work rotating shifts, have significantly worse semen parameters than infertile men who work the day shift.
In the United States, approximately 15% of the labor force works late-night or rotating shifts.
Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Study
To determine the effect of poor sleep quality and shift work on lower urinary tract symptoms, Sigalos and his colleagues retrospectively reviewed the medical records of men treated at the Baylor andrology clinic from 2014 to 2016.
All the men had completed the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) to evaluate lower urinary tract symptoms, completed questionnaires about work schedules and sleep disorders, and had blood samples taken.
Of the 2487 participants, 766 (30.8%) reported working nonstandard shifts in the previous month and, of these, 36.8% were considered to be at high risk for sleep disorders.
Mean IPSS score was higher in shift workers with sleep disorders than in shift workers without, and daytime workers (7.77 vs 5.37 vs 6.84; P < .0001 between all groups).
IPSS scores were 3.1 points lower in shift workers with sleep disorders than in shift workers without, after age, comorbidities, and testosterone levels were controlled for ( P = .0001).
These findings suggest that poor sleep quality — rather than shift work itself — contributes to the increase in lower urinary tract symptoms. Patients at risk for shift work sleep disorder should be screened for lower urinary tract symptoms and counseled about the risk, Sigalos told Medscape Medical News.
The potential for hypogonadal symptoms and sexual dysfunction was examined by another group of Baylor investigators who used the same cohort of men.
On multivariable analyses that controlled for age, Charlson comorbidity score, and testosterone levels, mean scores on the quantitative Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male (qADAM) questionnaire were 0.8 points lower in nonstandard shift workers than in daytime workers ( P < .01). And mean qADAM score was 3.9 points lower in shift workers at high risk for sleep disorders than in shift workers at low risk ( P < .01).
In addition, there was an independent association between high risk for shift work sleep disorder and lower testosterone levels after age, comorbidities, and history of testosterone supplementation were controlled for ( P < .01).
Semen Parameters Study
The effects of shift work and sleep quality on semen parameters and reproductive hormones in men were assessed in a prospective study by Taylor Kohn, MD, and his colleagues.
The study participants — 75 infertile shift workers, 96 infertile nonshift workers, and a control group of 26 fertile men — completed questionnaires about shift work and sleep quality, and underwent semen analysis and hormone testing.
Sperm density was significantly lower in infertile shift workers than in infertile nonshift workers ( P = .012), as were total motile counts ( P = .019) and testosterone levels ( P = .026).
However, the differences in sperm motility, forward progression measures, luteinizing hormone levels, and follicle-stimulating hormone levels were not significant.
All semen parameters were significantly lower in the infertile shift workers than in the fertile control group, and luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone levels were significantly higher. Testosterone levels were about the same in the two groups.
On linear regression that controlled for age, Charlson comorbidity index, tobacco use, and average income, there was a significant negative association between total motile count and shift work ( P = .039), and a significant positive association between total motile count and previous fertility ( P = .041).
In addition, total motile counts were significantly lower in men who worked rotating shifts than in those who worked fixed shifts ( P < .05).
The type of job shift workers performed also made a difference. Men who performed physical labor in environments where chemical use was common (such as oil fields and refineries) had significantly lower total motile counts than physical laborers without chemical exposure, medical workers, white-collar workers, and first responders ( P < .05).
Sleep satisfaction also seemed to play a role. “When assessing reported overall sleep amounts in the previous month, follicle-stimulating hormone and testosterone levels trended downward as men became more unsatisfied with the amount of sleep they were getting,” Dr Kohn reported.
Thinking Beyond the Prostate
It is important for urologists to think beyond the prostate when treating men with lower urinary tract symptoms or sexual dysfunction, said Howard Adler, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York.
When men present with symptoms like those reported in these studies, clinicians need to consider not only prostate-related symptoms, but also age-related changes in bladder function, renal function, and other medical conditions, such as diabetes, he told Medscape Medical News.
At Stony Brook, Dr Adler explained, he and his colleagues have begun “asking patients about sleep habits and snoring, and are sending them for sleep studies to see if they have apnea or something else, especially patients with a lot of night-time urination.”
The studies were supported by the Baylor College of Medicine. The authors and Dr Adler have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
American Urological Association (AUA) 2017 Annual Meeting: Abstracts MP13-12 and PD13-08 presented May 12, 2017; Abstract MP91-06 presented May 16, 2017.
Written By: Neil Osterweil
Article Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/880096#vp_1
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