Association between Night Shift Nurse Workers and Heart Disease

According to a new research presented in JAMA, registered female nurses who do the job in rotating night shift for five years or above are at a slightly greater risk of heart disease.

Shift work can affect social and biological rhythms, which may raise the possibility of chronic disease.

The National Sleep Foundation list a variety of problems that individuals who work shifts are more probably to encounter, which includes cancer, metabolic problems, ulcers, and obesity, not to mention depression and decreased overall performance because of disrupted circadian rhythms.

Earlier researches have recommended a link between shift work and coronary heart disease (CHD), cancer, and metabolic problems.

However, outcomes from prospective research connecting shift work to CHD have been inconsistent, and they have been restricted by short follow-up.

Celine Vetter, PhD and colleagues reviewed the occurrence of CHD in 189,158 initially healthy women.

The individuals were observed over 24 years in the Nurses’ Health Studies (NHS), performed from 1988-2012 and 1989-2013.

The investigators identified the lifetime history of rotating night shift work, described as 3 night shifts or above per month in addition to day and evening shifts.

5 years or above of shifts may be dangerous

While in follow-up, there were 7,303 occurrences of CHD in the initial NHS and 3,519 in the 2nd.

These involved non-fatal heart attacks, loss of life from CHD, angiogram-confirmed angina pectoris, coronary artery bypass graft surgery treatment, stents, and angioplasty.

Outcomes recommended that the more time a nurse spent rotating night shift work, the greater the possibility of CHD. Below 5 years of night shift work does not seem to raise the possibility of CHD, but doing work in shifts for over 5 years is connected with a statistically considerable increase.

Even so, the authors explain that since the possibility only influenced those who worked 5 years or above on rotating night shifts, and this was only 15 percent of all the individuals, the overall risk and public health influence of night shift work is comparatively small.

There was proof that the risk reduced after giving up shift work, and the more the time lapsed since giving up, the lower the possibility of CHD.

The authors also viewed at whether shift work was connected with enhanced CHD threat in the absence of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes. The initial NHS recommended an association but the second did not, implying that shift work requires a risk even in those without prior vulnerability.

Concluding this the author stated:

“Additional research is required to discover whether the connection is associated to particular work hours and individual characteristics.”