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Shift work linked to increased risk of heart attack, stroke

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario in Canada found in a study that heart attacks and strokes increased by more than 40 percent among those who work the night shift.

night shift workerEnlarge
Night shift workers are at an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, says a new study. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

A new study found that shift work was bad for the heart and brain.

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario in Canada found in a study that heart attacks and strokes increased by more than 40 percent among those who work the night shift.

According to Postmedia News, the study pooled the results of 34 previous studies that involved up to two million people.

The data on whether shift work had caused health risks was previously unclear.

Yet, researchers found that out of the two million people in the study, nearly 20,000 had some kind of coronary event, about 6,600 had heart attacks, and almost 2000 people had strokes caused by lack of blood to the brain, reported ANI.

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The researchers defined shift work as either evening shifts or irregular or unspecified shifts or night shifts as opposed to the typical nine to five workers who made up the control group.

ABC News reported that shift work was associated with a 24 percent increase in coronary events and a 23 percent increase in heart attacks.

They also found a five percent increase in strokes.

The researchers found that night shift work was the most deadly.

The study was published in the British Medical Journal.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120727/shift-work-linked-increased-risk-heart-attack-stroke