Working in rotating night shifts may deteriorate your health, a new study suggests. According to the study working in shifts, increases the chances of development of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and contributes to higher mortality.
The study showed that women working in rotating night shifts for more than 15 years had increases chances of lung cancer while women working for 5 or more years in rotating shifts had enhanced chances of suffering from CVD.
“These results add to prior evidence of a potentially detrimental relation of rotating night shift work and health and longevity,” said Eva Schernhammer, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Researchers defined rotating shifts as working in at least three nights a month in addition to working in evening and days. They said that the proper sleep plays a crucial role in antitumor and cardiovascular activities. Lack of sleep, in addition with change in timings of sleep, adds to CVD and higher mortality.
This study “is one of the largest prospective cohort studies worldwide with a high proportion of rotating night shift workers and long follow-up time”, she added.
Researchers conducted a study over 75,000 registered US nurses and analysed their data for 22 years to find the link between rotating shifts and CVD and cancer. After several rigorous calculations and investigation, scientists found that, women with 6-14 or 15 years of rotating night shift work had 11 per cent higher chances of mortality whereas CVD mortality was enhanced by 19 per cent for same group. However, no link was found between working in rotating shifts and cancer except lung cancer by 25 percent for those who worked in shifts for 15 years or more.
The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.