Night shift workers are at the highest risk of heart attacks and strokes because of their unhealthy eating and sleeping habits,a new research has claimed.
Researchers from Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Centre (SPARC) in London and Ontario found shift
workers were almost 25 per cent more likely to suffer and
night shift workers run the highest risk of 41 per cent,the
‘Daily Mail’ reported.
The study was published on the British Medical Journal
People working shifts also have higher levels of unhealthy
behaviors such as eating junk food,sleeping badly and not
exercising,which are linked to heart problems.
The team analysed the results of 34 studies involving 2,011,935 people to investigate whether shift work was
associated with major vascular events.
Shift work was defined as evening shifts,irregular or unspecified shifts,mixed schedules,night shifts and rotating
shifts,and the studies also contained day workers or the
general population for comparison.
Altogether 17,359 had some kind of coronary event,6,598
had heart attacks and 1,854 had ischemic strokes caused by
lack of blood supply to the brain.
These events were more common among shift workers than
Shift work was associated with a 23 per cent increased
risk of heart attack,24 per cent rise in coronary events and
five per cent extra strokes.
These risks remained consistent even after adjusting for
factors such as study quality,socioeconomic status and
unhealthy behaviours in shift workers.
However,shift work was not associated with increased
death rates from any cause.
Daniel Hackam,Clinical Pharmacologist,Stroke Prevention
& Atherosclerosis Research Centre (SPARC) said the relative
risks might appear modest,but millions of people do shift
work which means the overall risks are high.
“Shift workers should be educated about cardiovascular
symptoms in an effort to forestall or avert the earliest
clinical manifestations of disease,” he was quoted by the
paper as saying.
There has been mounting evidence that night shift working
might boost cancer risk because of the disruption to the body clock and hormone production.
“It’s a well-known fact that working irregular hours can
be bad for our health. It disrupts the body clock and is often
associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure,high cholesterol and diabetes,all of which are risk factors for
stroke,” Dr Peter Coleman,Stroke Association’s Deputy
Director of Research said.