Working nigh shifts is a very common practice for certain occupations like miners, phone agents, doctors, and many others. Certain industrial enterprises around the world usually have a non-stop manufacturing routine, which requires workers work shifts both in daytime and at night. It is estimated that in the modern industrial sector of the United States of America, about 3.6 million male workers (or about 14 per cent of the working population of the country) have to work shifts meaning getting involved in regular work at night. There are plenty of dangers and risks linked to using this kind of working routine and regularly working night shifts. In particular, according to the findings of a scientific group from Harvard Medical School and the Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, those workers who have to work at night are exposed to higher risks of diabetes and higher risks of obesity. Another study published this summer in the British Medical Journal has shown that working shifts can increase risks of strokes and heart attacks by almost 40%.
Recently, the findings of one more study related to the issue were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology and reported in many world’s leading mass media. It turned out that working night shifts exposes men’s health to much more dangers and risks of suffering from very serious health conditions. A group of Canadian scientists at the University of Quebec conducted a series of studies in order to research the effects of working night sifts on men and on women. Earlier this year, the findings of their firts study was published saying that working at night is linked to very high risks for breast cancer in women. According to the present findings received after analyzing the data on men working at night, this type of working routine is linked to increased risks of prostate caner in men. In addition, as the findings of the study have shown, night workers are at increased risks of suffering from other common types of cancer, including bowel cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer, and others.
The scientists have chosen quite an interesting approach to their scientific work. They gathered extensive data for the last ten years on about 3,135 Canadian men diagnosed with prostate cancer along with similar kind of data on 500 totally health men. That included eating habits and daily diet, daily exercise routine, the specifics of work and occupation, other important social, economic, environmental, personal, cultural and other factors. Analyzing and comparing the collected information gave the scientists an opportunity to understand that working night shifts is linked to more than three times higher risk for prostate cancer in men, as well as almost twice higher chances to be diagnosed with bowel cancer. To make the things worse, it is reported that such working routine is associated with up to 70 per cent higher risks of bladder cancer and up to 76 per cent higher risk for lung cancer, one of the most common types of cancer which leads to death in the most of the cases.
The Canadian scientists underline that their findings should not be neglected and must bring many employers to revising their working routine. They explain the discovered phenomena by the property of the body to suppress the effects of melatonin which takes place when a person is awake and needs to get focused on working at night. Melatonin is a hormone produced in human body and plays a role of a natural regulating agent of sleeping and being awake condition. It works great only in case when a person follows a stable and regular sleep-awake routine and gets affected when a person has to stay awake or has chronic sleep disorders. At that, the Canadian experts underline that making changes to the daily routine similar to the ones of working day and night shifts for over a 10-year period of time can cause very serious changes in the body and be linked with the above mentioned risks of serious diseases. Those who are wondering about the details and want to learn more about the findings of this interesting study can check out the original report in this webpage.