Shift Workers Show Rise in Stress Hormone10/10/11
MONDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Shift work or working odd
hours can cause changes in stress hormone levels, especially when
people start these schedules as young adults, according to a new
Researchers said that increased levels of cortisol, a hormone
whose levels rise when people are stressed, could be key to the
development of serious health issues, including obesity, high blood
pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
"Our findings show that cortisol might play an important part in the development of obesity and increased cardiovascular risk for those working in shifts," lead author Dr. Laura Manenschijn, at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, said in an Endocrine Society news release. "Unraveling the role of cortisol in the health problems found in shift workers could result in new approaches to prevent cardiovascular damage in this specific group."
In conducting the study, researchers took hair samples from 33
shift workers and 89 daytime workers to measure their cortisol
Researchers found that long-term cortisol levels were
significantly higher among shift workers, particularly those
younger than 40.
The study was published in the November issue of the
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides
more information on
shift workers' health.
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