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Many of today’s industries require workers to perform shift work (typically during 1600-0700). If workers are awake during this time period, circadian misalignment occurs. This scholarly project uses research studies and metaanalyses to provide information about increased health risks associated with circadian misalignment, focusing on the categories of glucose metabolism, cardiovascular system, carcinogenesis, and mental health and acuity.

• Shift work has been found to increase BMI and waist circumference of employees, as well as increase blood glucose levels to “prediabetic” levels in previously euglycemic individuals.

• Shift work has been proven to increase high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), an acute phase reactant that indicates inflammation and has been found to be a precursor to cardiovascular disease. Additionally, shift work has been demonstrated to increase risk for several cardiovascular diseases, including myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke.

• Men who work shift work are at higher risk for developing prostate cancer, and women who have performed shift work for over 30 years are at increased risk for breast cancer development.

• Working a night shift job and its associated sleep deprivation was proven to make medical interns more susceptible to developing depression, as well as more likely to make medical errors due to their sleep deprivation.


Physician Assistant Studies

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circadian misalignment, BMI, prediabetic, euglycemic, cardiovascular diseases, sleep deprivation, oncogenesis, depression


Medicine and Health Sciences

The Impact of Shift Work on Health and Wellbeing