A team of Chinese scientists has confirmed that long-term night shift work significantly increases the risk of heart problems such as atrial fibrillation and coronary heart disease, as reflected in their study, published this month in the scientific journal European Heart Journal.
To carry out their research, the scientists analyzed the records of the UK Biobank of 283,657 workers self-employed and people in paid employment without a history of atrial fibrillation and 276,009 participants who did not suffer from coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure.
The analysis revealed that regular or permanent night shifts were associated with a higher risk of atrial fibrillation and coronary heart diseaseHowever, they did not appear to be directly related to heart failure or stroke. In particular, scientists they concluded that people who currently work night shifts, who have worked for ten or more years, or who worked their entire lives doing 3 to 8 night shifts per month, the risk of suffering from coronary heart disease increased by 22%, 37% and 35%, respectively, compared to day workers.
“We have discovered that women were more susceptible to atrial fibrillation compared to men who work night shifts for more than ten years, “revealed one of the study authors, Lu Qi.
Likewise, it was found that people who perform at least weekly 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or at least 75 minutes of intensive physical exercise had less risk of heart problems due to regular night shifts.
These findings suggest that ” reduction in both frequency and duration night shift work can be beneficial for health of the heart and blood vessels, “said Yingli Lu of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.