News ID: 254292
Published: 0632 GMT June 15, 2019

Working in shifts found to be harmful for heart

Working in shifts found to be harmful for heart

A recent study has found that people working in shifts face an increased risk of heart disease, and it only grows with more years spent in that work style.

Shift work has its benefits and is sometimes better paid and allows employees freedom to include other activities in their schedule such as pursuing a hobby, or studying, reported.

However, scientific research has continually reported the health risk and negative impact shift work can have on the wellbeing of workers. Lead author, Dr. Weihong Chen, a researcher in occupational and environmental health at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, said, “Shift work can earn more profit, but it can also cause harm to the health of employees, so employers should reduce shift work as much as possible.”

The researchers analyzed records and findings from 21 previous studies which involved nearly 20,000 cases of coronary heart disease, which is caused by blocked blood flow in the heart. The data showed that shift workers were 13 percent more susceptible to developing coronary heart disease compared to daytime workers, or the ones working in regular shifts.

According to the researchers the exact reason why shift workers are at a heightened risk for developing coronary heart disease is unclear, but it can be owed to the disruption in the human body clock, the increased stress caused by unusual sleep-wake cycle, and unhealthy lifestyles.

Chen said, “The number of deaths due to ischemic heart disease has continued to rise with 7.6 million deaths in 2005 and 8.9 million people dying due to the condition in 2015. Patients require surgical interventions and medications, meaning ischemic heart disease is one of the biggest burdens on health care systems.”

Chen suggested employers to be more vigilant to staff members’ health, and provide health check-ups for early detection of health issues, thereby promote a healthy lifestyle that could ischemic heart disease.

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