Increased Risks of Working Night Shifts
According to a new research, working night shifts may raise the chance of suffering from abnormal heart rhythm.
According to Healthline, a new study published in the European Heart Journal found that people who work at night, compared with people who work during the day, are more at risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AFib) by 12%.
Atrial fibrillation (also called AFib or AF) is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications.
Tingli Lu, the co-leader and a researcher at Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital and Shanghai JiaoTong University, suggested that even though causal links cannot be identified, lifetime night shift work may increase the chances of developing these conditions.
By examining the data from 283,000 individuals in the UK Biobank, Lu and researchers found an 18% increase rate of AFib for individuals who worked night shifts for most of their lives.
A cardiologist at Keck Medicine at the University of Southern California, Dr. Parveen Garg, was not surprised to hear the results of the study, as the inability to exercise while working nontraditional hours could lead to increased risks.
The most frequent type of Cardiac Arrhythmia
The most common kind of cardiac arrhythmia is AFib: It causes an erratic heart rhythm in the upper heart chambers, leading to inadequate blood flow to the lower chambers.
Some conditions of AFib are chronic, while others can be more abrupt.
Heart failure and stroke can occur if the condition is left untreated.
AFib was the cause of death for over 175,000 people in 2018 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to the CDC, more than 12 million Americans will suffer from this condition by 2030.
Dr. Megan Kamath, a cardiologist at UCLA, told Healthline that there are numerous potential reasons for developing AFib, which includes "including high blood pressure, heart disease, previous heart attack, congenital heart disease, heart failure, infections, thyroid problems, sleep apnea, lung disease, obesity, smoking, and other substance use.”
Older women at greater risk
Due to women's longer average lifespan, they are more likely than men to develop the condition.
Women who worked night shifts for more than 10 years were at higher risk of developing AFib, according to the study. When compared with coworkers on day shifts, their risk increased by 64%.
However, Dr. Garg denies that the night shift itself is an instigator for AFib. He emphasized the need to encourage night shift employees to develop better habits such as eating healthier and finding time to exercise, in order to decrease their risk "not only for atrial fibrillation but even heart disease."
Dr. Kamath suggests that maintaining good nutrition and increasing regular exercise is a few things people can do to protect their health while working night shifts.
Kamath stressed routine visits to the doctor are crucial in order to identify and prevent heart problems before their onset.