Research/studies Worker health and wellness Shift work

Rotating night shift work raises risk of heart disease, lung cancer: study

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Boston – Nurses working rotating night shifts have an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and lung cancer, a new study from Harvard Medical School suggests.

Researchers analyzed 22 years of data from nearly 75,000 U.S. registered nurses from the Nurses’ Health Study. They found death from all causes appeared to be 11 percent higher for nurses with at least six years of rotating night shift work (working at least three nights per month along with daytime and evening shifts).

Cardiovascular disease mortality was 19 percent higher for nurses with 6-14 years of rotating night shifts and 23 percent higher for those with at least 15 years. Nurses who worked rotating night shifts for at least 15 years had a 25 percent higher risk of death from lung cancer.

The researchers found no association between rotating shift work and death from other cancers.

The study was published online Jan. 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.