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Shift work boosts heart attack risk


Monday July 30th 2012

Heart attack risk is heightened by unsocial working hours, research has shown.

A major review of health effects based on working patterns found that the risk of suffering a heart attack can jump by more than a fifth as a result of shift work.

It also found that the risk of suffering a stroke increases by 5% when working unsocial hours.

Shift workers are more likely to suffer a coronary event, which includes angina chest pains, with heart attacks up by 23% and any coronary event up by 24%.

In Canada, where a number of the researchers were based, 7% of heart attacks could be attributed to shift work.

The scientists, led by Dr Daniel Hackam, from Western University in Canada, wrote in the British Medical Journal: "Shift work is associated with vascular events, which may have implications for public policy and occupational medicine."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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