Night shift can lead to heightened asthma risk 

Severe Asthma Risk doubled after Covid-19 restrictions lifted

People continuously working in night shift has to be more careful as a new study has revealed that working long night shifts can lead to heightened risk of moderate to severe asthma.

Journal Thorax published the study of the University of Manchester, UK. In the study, the researchers said that working in shifts will cause a person’s internal body clock to be out of step. This could lead to a heightened risk of several metabolic disorders, cancer and cardiovascular disease, the researchers said in the study.

The researchers said that they looked into the various symptoms of asthma such as whistling air way and wheezing that always varied considerably with day and night. It has to be noted that around one in five employees in the developed countries work in permanent or rotating night shifts. The researchers explored how chronotype (body clock preference for morning or evening activity) and genetic predisposition influenced asthma. They looked at medical, employment information and lifestyle supplied between 2007 and 2010 of 2,86,825 participants in the UK Biobank. They were aged between 37 and 72. These people were either self-employed or in paid employment.

The researchers said that majority of the workers (83 per cent) had regular office hours. Seventeen per cent of this 17 per cent worked in shifts and half of them did night shifts. Men mostly did shift works. They were also found to be smokers and living in urban areas and in more deprived neighbourhoods. The researchers also said that night shift workers drank less alcohol and slept fewer hours. They also worked for long hours, the study said.

Around five per cent of the people involved in the study already had asthma and nearly two per cent had moderate to severe symptoms based on their medications. In the study, the researchers compared effect of working office hours with shift work on symptoms of asthma, diagnosis and lung function. The researchers concluded that the odds of wheeze or airway whistling were one to 18 per cent higher among those working in night shift.


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