Association of occupational distress and low sleep quality with syncope, presyncope, and falls in workers

Nicola Magnavita, Reparata Rosa Di Prinzio, Reparata Rosa Di Prinzio, Gabriele Arnesano, Sergio Garbarino, Angela Iuliano, Igor Mauro, Franca Barbic, Anna Cerrina, Maddalena Gabriele, Martina Gasbarri, Marcella Labella, Carmela Matera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Syncope and presyncope episodes that occur during work could affect one’s safety and impair occupational performance. Few data are available regarding the prevalence of these events among workers. The possible role of sleep quality, mental stress, and metabolic disorders in promoting syncope, presyncope, and falls in workers is unknown. In the present study, 741 workers (male 35.4%; mean age 47 ± 11 years), employed at different companies, underwent clinical evaluation and blood tests, and completed questionnaires to assess sleep quality, occupational distress, and mental disorders. The occurrence of syncope, presyncope, and unexplained falls during working life was assessed via an ad hoc interview. The prevalence of syncope, presyncope, and falls of unknown origin was 13.9%, 27.0%, and 10.3%, respectively. The occurrence of syncope was associated with an increased risk of occupational distress (adjusted odds ratio aOR: 1.62, confidence intervals at 95%: 1.05–2.52), low sleep quality (aOR: 1.79 CI 95%: 1.16–2.77), and poor mental health (aOR: 2.43 CI 95%: 1.52–3.87). Presyncope was strongly associated with occupational distress (aOR: 1.77 CI 95%: 1.25–2.49), low sleep quality (aOR: 2.95 CI 95%: 2.08–4.18), and poor mental health (aOR: 2.61 CI 95%: 1.78–3.84), while no significant relationship was found between syncope or presyncope and metabolic syndrome. These results suggest that occupational health promotion interventions aimed at improving sleep quality, reducing stressors, and increasing worker resilience might reduce syncope and presyncope events in the working population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12283-N/A
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Effort reward imbalance
  • Health promotion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Mental health
  • Sleep disorders
  • Working life
  • Workplace


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