Night shifts can raise risk of heart attack by 40 per cent

Night shifts people have higher levels of unhealthy behaviors,which linked to heart problems.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: July 27, 2012 1:07:26 pm

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

other people.

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.

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