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Working the Night Shift May Raise Heart Attack Risk

September 12, 2012

A recent study found that people who do shift work may be more susceptible to heart attack and stroke. These health complications are among the latest that have been linked to alternative circadian rhythms.

Shift work has been scrutinized over the past few months because a number of studies have linked night shift to adverse health consequences such as chronic and detrimental sleep deprivation, depression, obesity, and others.

night shifts increase heart attack riskThese consequences may not translate directly to a health condition that is palpable and describable, but following this new study, shift workers should take notice of the possible health problems that can result from working at night.

The study involved reviewing 34 previous studies on shift work, and it showed that shift workers have a 23% higher chance of suffering a heart attack and a 5% higher chance of having a stroke.

Dr. Steven Feinsilver, from the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, said that shift work is one of the many factors that can contribute to sleep disruption. Sleep disruption can be detrimental to health, and shift workers should take measures to reduce the health risks that are associated with bad sleep.

According to Dr. Feinsilver, those who work the night shift should wear the darkest sunglasses when they are going home from work in the morning, so that they will not be exposed to natural light. It is also recommended that they try to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and quit smoking.

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