Washington: Shift work is associated with an increased risk of major vascular problems like heart attacks and strokes, a new study has concluded.According to the authors of the study, this is the largest analysis of shift work and vascular risk to date and has implications for public policy and occupational medicine.Shift work has long been known to disrupt the body clock (circadian rhythm) and is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, but its association with vascular disease is controversial.So a team of international researchers analysed the results of 34 studies involving over two million individuals to investigate the association between shift work and major vascular events.Shift work was defined as evening shifts, irregular or unspecified shifts, mixed schedules, night shifts and rotating shifts. Control groups were non-shift (day) workers or the general population.Differences in study design and quality were taken into account to minimise bias.Among the 2,011,935 people in the study, more than 17,359 had some kind of coronary event, 6,598 had myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), and 1,854 had ischaemic strokes caused by lack of blood to the brain.
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