Shift Work Spikes Diabetes, CVD Risk


Recently published research in Experimental Physiology confirms what many pharmacists already know: shift work can have a long-term effect on the risk of heart disease and diabetes. 

Study researchers from the University College of Medical Sciences, University of Delhi suggest in the research that shift work has a negative impact on how triglycerides are broken down, as well as on the way sugar is utilized. Both of these increase the risk of heart disease and


because they affect how our body processes sugar and fat. 

The researchers conducted the research on two groups of healthcare workers. The first group included nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers aged 20 to 40 of both sexes who had not done night shift in the last one year or ever and had normal blood sugar levels. The second group was of the same professional background and age, but involved in rotational night shift duties (more than 4 nights duties per month at least for last one year) and had normal blood sugar levels.

The researchers concluded: "the findings of this pilot study suggest that rotational night shift duties in healthcare workers might have a negative impact on metabolic parameters, including postprandial triglyceride responses and insulin sensitivity."



  • Lee S, McCann D, Messenger JC. Working Time Around the World: Trends in Working Hours, Laws and Policies in a Global Comparative Perspective. London and Geneva: Routledge and ILO, 2007.
  • Association of postprandial triglyceride responses with insulin resistance among rotational night shift healthcare workers 
  • Experimental Physiology publishes advances in physiology which increase our understanding of how our bodies function in health and disease.
  • The Physiological Society brings together over 3,500 scientists from over 60 countries. The Society promotes physiology with the public and parliament alike. It supports physiologists by organising world-class conferences and offering grants for research and also publishes the latest developments in the field in its three leading scientific journals, The Journal of Physiology, Experimental Physiology and Physiological Reports.

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