Rotating shift work is remarkably unpleasant. The frequent changes from day to night work have previously been linked to cancer and heart problems, and new research has shown that it also can cause an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women. This discovery applies to those poor, unfortunate souls who have to switch between day and night shifts on a regular basis.
Researchers pored over data from a long-term study of the health of almost 175,000 nurses in America, covering 20 years of their lives. Analyzing these data, the researchers found the longer the nurses had to keep doing rotating shift work, the larger the increase in risk. Once adjusted for body weight, people doing long term rotation shift work saw a 24% increase in risk of type 2 diabetes. Shift work is also linked to increased body weight, which boosts the chances even higher.
It's also easy to speculate that part of this problem comes from irregular and junk-filled meals, which can quickly become a mainstay of diets when your schedule is constantly in flux. With 15 million people doing shift work around the United States, this has a substantial impact on the public health of the nation - and should serve as a call for increased awareness and prevention in shift workers.
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