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Consumers who work night shift have increased risk of heart problems: Research

*Experts say previous study has linked this kind of work to several different diseases and health conditions

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Several previous researches suggest that working the night shift can be harmful to consumers’ long-term health, according to experts.

Yet, another recent study indicated that it may cause potentially serious heart conditions in the affected people.

Two researchers from the US and China say they found evidence that consumers who work the night shift have a higher risk for atrial fibrillation, a condition characterised by an irregular and often rapid heart rate that leads to poor blood flow.

Experts stated in their the study, which has been fully published in the European Heart Journal, that this is true for workers who currently follow this kind of schedule and those who previously worked it for a longer period of time.

Researcher Yingli Lu said: “Our findings have public health implications for preventing atrial fibrillation.

“They suggest that reducing both the frequency and the duration of night shift work may be beneficial for the health of the heart and blood vessels.”

Women, physically inactive people are most at risk

The researchers also came to their conclusions after analysing over 286,000 health records from the UK Biobank.

They found that people who currently work night shifts on a usual or permanent basis have a 12 percent higher risk of atrial fibrillation than consumers who work during the day.

However, they found that this risk rose to as high as 22 percent, if consumers worked the night shift for 3 to 8 days per month over 10 years or more.

On top of the increased risk of atrial fibrillation, the researchers found that working the night shift under those same conditions drastically increased the risk of other heart conditions.

For example, the increased risk of coronary heart disease was 35 percent higher for night shift workers.

The researchers found that women and those who are not very physically active had the greatest risk of atrial fibrillation when they worked the night shift for longer periods of time.

However, the findings were more positive for those who were able to find time to be physically active.

Lu Qi also noted: “People reporting an ideal amount of physical activity of 150 minutes a week or more of moderate intensity, 75 minutes a week or more of vigorous intensity, or an equivalent combination, had a lower risk of atrial fibrillation than those with non-ideal physical activity when exposed to a lifetime of night shift work.”

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