If you’ve ever thought working the graveyard shift sounded like the least appetizing schedule imaginable, you’re not alone. I for one would much rather wake up at 6 a.m. and work until 3 if it meant I could have my precious evening hours to myself.
Now there’s more reason to loathe the night shift: it’s been linked to higher risk of heart attack, stroke, early aging and other serious health conditions, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers collected data from 34 previous studies on the topic of work shift and heart health. From a combined total of 2 million participants worldwide, researchers gathered that atypical shift workers are at a 23 percent greater risk of heart attacks, 5 percent greater risk of stroke,and 24 percent greater risk of all coronary events than their 9-5 Monday-Friday counterparts. These workers also saw higher death rates overall.
Researchers considered those who worked any shift outside of ‘normal daytime hours,’ including evening, night and extremely early morning shifts, as well as split shifts, on call hours and other atypical working hours.
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