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Night shift workers with high blood pressure face a host of health problems: study

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Changsha, China — Night shift workers who have high blood pressure may be at increased risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, or experiencing a stroke, results of a recent study show.

Researchers at Xiangya Hospital of Central South University used UK Biobank data for nearly 37,000 participants, with an average follow-up of nearly 12 years. Findings show that employees who worked night shifts had a 16% higher risk of developing diabetes or heart disease, or experiencing a stroke, than counterparts who worked during the day.

The risk of developing cardiometabolic conditions remained accelerated even when shift workers with high blood pressure slept seven to eight hours a night. It increased even more if shift workers slept less than seven hours a night.

In a press release, Girardin Jean-Louis, director of the Center for Transitional Sleep and Circadian Sciences and a professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Miami, said “it’s actually really difficult” for shift workers to get good sleep.

 

“Since shift work is increasingly common and hypertension is a leading risk factor for cardiometabolic multimorbidity, it is crucial to clarify the association between shift work and cardiometabolic multimorbidity risks,” Yongping Bai, lead study author and an associate professor in geriatric medicine at Central South, said in the release.

The study was published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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