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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Data from nurses’ study finds link between night shifts, higher mortality risk

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A new analysis of data from the world’s largest and longest-running study of women’s health finds that rotating night shift work is associated with higher mortality rates. The new findings add to a growing awareness that long-term night shift work comes with serious occupational health risks.
Published this month in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the study found that all-cause and cardiovascular disease-related mortality were significantly increased among women who worked more than five years of rotating night shifts when compared to those who never worked the night shift. In addition, the study found that working 15 or more years of rotating night shifts was associated with a modest increase in lung cancer mortality. Previous research has also found a link between working the night shift and serious health risks. In fact, in 2007, the World Health Organization designated night shift work as a probable carcinogen, as it disrupts the physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle — otherwise known as circadian rhythms. Study authors Fangyi Gu, Jiali Han, Francine Laden, An Pan, Neil Caporaso, Meir Stampfer, Ichiro Kawachi, Kathryn Rexrode, Walter Willett, Susan Hankinson, Frank Speizer and Eva Schernhammer write:
The circadian system and its prime marker, melatonin, are considered to have anti-tumor effects through multiple pathways, including antioxidant activity,...
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