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Baddi Jayalaxmi, R. Vinoshini, Hanumantharaju KN, Chaitradeepa G M, Chennappa Gurikar, Lokesh A C
» doi: 10.53555/ecb/2023.12.12.284


Shift work disrupts the natural circadian rhythm and eating patterns, leading to unfavorable changes in metabolism, insulin resistance, and hormone secretion. In this highly digitalized era, sleep disorders are becoming more common and are associated with an increased burden of chronic disease. Shift workers are at an increased risk for both sleep disorders and metabolic syndrome. This disruption is associated with increased risks of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, heart disease, obesity and stroke. The pathways connecting shift work to cardiovascular disease include psychosocial stress, altered work-life balance, sleep disruption, behavioral changes, and physiological stress reactions. Moreover, shift work has been linked to cancer development through mechanisms such as circadian phase shifts, melatonin suppression, sleep disruption, lifestyle factors, and hormonal imbalance. Shift work can impact reproductive health, leading to irregular menstruation, reduced fertility, and problems during pregnancy. Hormonal imbalances, including altered melatonin, leptin, ghrelin, cortisol, and catecholamine levels, play a crucial role in these health effects. Strategies to mitigate shift work-related health problems include maintaining a regular eating pattern, consuming a balanced diet, staying hydrated, avoiding heavy foods at night, limiting junk food and alcohol, and engaging in regular exercise. The disruption of circadian rhythms caused by shift work can have profound effects on metabolism, hormone regulation, and overall health, contributing to chronic degenerative diseases and emphasizing the importance of addressing these challenges in shift work environments. Clinical interventions, including work schedules, light therapy, medications, and dietary habits to improve the circadian synchronicity of shift workers and reduce their risk of morbidity and mortality.

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