Dangers Of Working Night Shifts: Heart Disease Risk Is Higher Among Night Shift Workers, Study Finds

There are several dangers of working night shifts. A new study shows that the risk of developing heart disease is higher for night shift employees.

The new research -- published in JAMA --- involved the study of female registered nurses who work night shifts. The researchers found out that these night shift workers have a greater risk of heart disease.

"Shift work can disrupt social and biological rhythms, which may increase the risk of chronic disease," Medical News Today reports. The study results also suggest that the longer a person works night shifts, the more his risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) increases.

The research team studied a group of female workers who were given night shift assignments for three or more times per month over a period of five years or more. "Less than 5 years of shift work does not appear to increase the chance of CHD, but working shifts for more than 5 years is linked with a statistically significant increase," Medical News Today explains.

Fortunately, the study authors say that the increase in heart disease risk among night shift workers is relatively small. They also noted that more studies need to be conducted in order to learn more details about the dangers of working night shifts.

Aside from a slightly higher heart disease risk, there are other dangers of working night shifts. These include diabetes, obesity, stomach disorders, ulcer, depression, moodiness, sleep disturbances, weakened immune system and a greater risk for getting into accidents, WebMD shares.

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