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Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research ; 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-20243488


Background: Nurses and other first responders are at high risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV2 virus, and many have developed severe COVID-19 infection. A better understanding of the factors that increase the risk of infection after exposure to the virus could help to address this. Although several risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension have been associated with an increased risk of infection, many first responders develop severe COVID-19 without established risk factors. As inflammation and cytokine storm are the primary mechanisms in severe COVID-19, other factors that promote an inflammatory state could increase the risk of COVID-19 in exposed individuals. Alcohol misuse and shift work with subsequent misaligned circadian rhythms are known to promote a pro-inflammatory state and thus could increase susceptibility to COVID-19. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a prospective, cross-sectional observational survey-based study in nurses using the American Nursing Association network. Method(s): We used validated structured questionnaires to assess alcohol consumption (the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) and circadian typology or chronotype (the Munich Chronotype Questionnaire Shift -MCTQ-Shift). Result(s): By latent class analysis (LCA), high-risk features of alcohol misuse were associated with a later chronotype, and binge drinking was greater in night shift workers. The night shift was associated with more than double the odds of COVID-19 infection of the standard shift (OR 2.67, 95% CI: 1.18 to 6.07). Binge drinkers had twice the odds of COVID-19 infection of those with low-risk features by LCA (OR: 2.08, 95% CI: 0.75 to 5.79). Conclusion(s): Working night shifts or binge drinking may be risk factors for COVID-19 infection among nurses. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these risk factors could help to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our at-risk healthcare workforce.Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Research Society on Alcohol.