Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Millions of Americans work the night shift. A new study could be an early warning for those keeping late hours.
Doctors have long known that working nights and irregular shifts disrupts the body’s natural rhythms. Such work has been associated with a greater risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Now, a study in a British Medical Journal adds to the list.
Researchers reviewed data involving more than two million people and found shift work was linked to vascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes.
Working the night shift was associated with a 40 percent increased risk for all coronary events, including: heart attack, death from heart attack and hospital admission related to heart disease.
In general, shift work was associated with a 23 percent increased risk of heart attack and a five percent increase in the risk of stroke.
The authors say shift workers should be vigilant about modifying other risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure.