According to a new study, working the night shift or rotating shift for 5 years or more not only shortens your life span in general, but increases your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, especially in women.
Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, an international team of researchers analyzed 22 years worth of data from nearly 75,000 registered nurses in the U.S. participating in the Nurses’ Health Study.
11% of the women who worked rotating shifts for more than 6 years experienced a shorter lifespan. An earlier death due to cardiovascular disease increased by 19% for those who worked rotating night shifts for 6-14 years and by 23% for the workers who continued for 15 years or more. Specifically, women who worked rotating night shifts for more than 15 years were also 25% more likely to die of lung cancer.
“These results add to prior evidence of a potentially detrimental relation of rotating night shift work and health and longevity…To derive practical implications for shift workers and their health, the role of duration and intensity of rotating night shift work and the interplay of shift schedules with individual traits (e.g., chronotype) warrant further exploration,” Dr.Eva S. Schernhammer of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital further explained.