Shift workers possess a body clock different from the normal ones causing heart problems

The natural body clock or circadian rhythm is physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24 hours cycle. A deviation from this natural body clock due to working hours can lead to severe cardiovascular risk. Our internal biological clock varies from the day begins and operates until the day ends in a systematic manner.

Variation from this normal cycle can result in circadian misalignment ( inappropriately timed sleep and wake). A study focusing on the role of circadian misalignment and the individual biological clock has done by the University of Lisbon, Portugal, among shift workers who worked on a shift basis either early morning (6 am-3 pm), late evening (3 pm-midnight) or night (9 pm-6 am).

Based on this study, the circadian misalignment and Jetlag ( mismatching between an individual’s biological clock and working hours) were analyzed. The researchers used the European relative risk SCORE chart, which incorporates smoking, blood pressure, and cholesterol, to calculate relative cardiovascular risk. From the above study, one in five (20%) were classified high cardiovascular risk. Around 40% had a short sleep duration in working days (6 hours or less). A higher level of jetlag disrupts our biological clock and makes people more prone to cardiovascular problems among shift workers.

Thus, the results from the above studies give us an idea of detrimental health outcomes due to circadian misalignment among the shift workers. Proper working schedules along with monitoring the status of workers can improve timing and alignment of circadian rhythm, as they are integral to the health and well-being of all organisms, including humans.

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Source: Science daily

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