02/25/2011

Study suggests working nights may affect long-term health

Working shifts may be more dangerous for our health than previously believed,
according to EU-funded researchers working in Denmark and Germany. They explain
that unbalancing the internal body clock by working at night may have a direct
impact on our genetic make-up, thus provoking a variety of long-term metabolic
and psychological disorders.

In addition to shift work, nutritional and sleeping patterns also aid the
development of metabolic disorders, according to the scientists. The project
not only looked at DNA methylation and genetic variations, it also covered the
twins' nutritional behaviour, the quality of sleep obtained as well as hormone
and blood counts such as blood sugar and blood lipids. For example, they
examined whether the levels of the stress-hormone cortisol changed in people as
a result of working shifts. The long-term objective of the study is to develop
preventative measures to reduce the risk of metabolic and sleep disorders from
developing in the future.


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AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work