News flash: if you are a night owl or work night shift jobs – it could lead to health problems like type 2 diabetes.
Working a night shift disrupts the circadian rhythm of the body, and can lead to eating less healthy foods and living a less than healthy lifestyle, which causes other health problems.
Nurse’s Health Study
The Nurse’s Health Study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that over a period of 22-24 years, 10,915 out of 143,410 nurses (or 7.7 percent) ended up diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
The Nurse’s Health Study (NHS) began in 1976, and the NHS II began in 1989. The studies combined studied 143,410 women who worked at least three night shifts per month in addition to other shifts. American, Chinese, and Austrian researchers conducted the study.
Of those who developed type 2, it was due 17 percent to night work, 71 percent to unhealthy lifestyle, and 11 percent to a combination of both.
If a woman worked a night shift and had another unhealthy lifestyle factor like smoking or obesity, that increased her risk for type 2 by 2.83 times.
For every five years that nurses worked a night shift, their chances of getting type 2 increased 31 percent. Those who also had an unhealthy lifestyle were twice as likely to be diagnosed with type 2.
A previous study showed that people who worked night shifts had trouble controlling their blood sugar levels. Workers in this study had an average A1C of 8.2 percent, while the goal is below 7 percent.
People who work night shifts should focus on eating a healthy diet, exercising, taking their medications as prescribed, and not smoking so as to decrease their risk for developing type 2.