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Open AccessArticle

Cardiac Autonomic Modulation during on-Call Duty under Working Hours Restriction

1
Department of Pediatrics, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua 50006, Taiwan
2
Institute of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10055, Taiwan
3
Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei 10048, Taiwan
4
Institute of Statistics, National Chiao-Tung University, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan
5
Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli 35053, Taiwan
6
Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei 10048, Taiwan
7
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10048, Taiwan
8
Institute of Health Behaviors and Community Sciences, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10055, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1118; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17031118
Received: 9 January 2020 / Revised: 5 February 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 10 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health Psychology)
Background: Medical residency is a time of high stress and long working hours, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. This study aimed to investigate the autonomic modulation of resident physicians throughout the on-call duty cycle. Methods: Spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) was used to compute cardiac parasympathetic modulation (high-frequency power, HF) and cardiac sympathetic modulation (normalized low-frequency power, LF%, and the ratio of LF and HF, LF/HF) of 18 residents for a consecutive 4-day cycle. Results: Male residents show reduced cardiac sympathetic modulation (i.e., higher LF/HF and LF%) than the female interns. Medical residents’ cardiac parasympathetic modulation (i.e., HF) significantly increased on the first and the second post-call day compared with the pre-call day. In contrast, LF% was significantly decreased on the first and the second post-call day compared with the pre-call day. Similarly, LF/HF was significantly decreased on the second post-call day compared with the pre-call day. LF/HF significantly decreased on the first post-call day and on the second post-call day from on-call duty. Conclusion: The guideline that limits workweeks to 80 h and shifts to 28 h resulted in reduced sympathetic modulation and increased parasympathetic modulation during the two days following on-call duty. View Full-Text
Keywords: autonomic nervous system; Heart rate variability; medical resident; on-call duty; working hours restriction autonomic nervous system; Heart rate variability; medical resident; on-call duty; working hours restriction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chien, J.-W.; Chen, C.-Y.; Lin, S.-H.; Lin, S.-W.; Lin, Y.-H. Cardiac Autonomic Modulation during on-Call Duty under Working Hours Restriction. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1118.

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