Rotating Night Shift Work Adds To Risk of Type II Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

"Night Shift" by Yuchung Chao is licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0Dr. Zhilei Shah PhD
Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Hubei Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety
Ministry of Education Key Lab of Environment and Health, School of Public Health
Tongji Medical College, Huazhon
University of Science and Technology
Wuhan,  China

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Shift work has progressed in response to changes in economic pressure and greater consumer demand for 24-hour services. There are many economic advantages to increased shift work, including higher employment, increased services to customers, and improved trade opportunities. Currently, one in five employees in the U.S. works nonstandard hours in the evening, night, or rotating shifts. However, shift work, especially night shift work, has been associated with a higher risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer.

Compelling evidence has shown that body weight and lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking, diet, and physical activity can influence type 2 diabetes risk. Among shift workers, excess adiposity and increased smoking are frequently and consistently reported, whereas the evidence on physical activity and diet is mixed. Additionally, no previous study has examined the joint associations of rotating night shift work duration and unhealthy lifestyle factors with risk of type 2 diabetes, or evaluated their potential interactions.

Therefore, we prospectively assessed the joint association of rotating night shift work and established type 2 diabetes lifestyle risk factors with risk of type 2 diabetes and quantitatively decomposed the proportions of the joint association to rotating night shift work alone, to lifestyle alone and to their interaction in two large US cohorts.

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Night-Shift Work Linked To Increased Mortality In Nurses

Eva Schernhammer, MD, DrPH Associate Professor of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School Associate Professor of Epidemiology Harvard School of Public Health Channing Division of Network MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Eva Schernhammer, MD, DrPH

Associate Professor of Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Associate Professor of Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health
Channing Division of Network Medicine

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Prof. Schernhammer: The study is an observational cohort study of over 70,000 registered nurses from within the US who reported the total number of years they had worked rotating night work and were followed for several decades. We examined overall mortality in these women, and observed significantly higher overall mortality, as well as higher mortality from cardiovascular disease in women with several years of rotating night shift work, compared to nurses who had never worked night shifts. There was also some suggestion for modest and non-significant increases in mortality from a few cancers. The study is unique due to its size, the fact that all participants were nurses (eliminating potential biases arising from differing occupational exposures), the long follow-up, and the possibility to take into account most known risk factors for chronic diseases that we currently know of (all of this information has been collected regularly and repeatedly).  Continue reading