Sophia Antipolis, April 16, 2021: Working hours that deviate from an individual’s natural body clock are associated with greater cardiovascular risk, according to research presented at ESC Preventive Cardiology 2021, an online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1
“Our study found that for each hour the work schedule was out of sync with an employee’s body clock, the risk of heart disease got worse,” said study author Dr. Sara Gamboa Madeira of the University of Lisbon, Portugal.
At least 20% of European employees work atypical hours or shifts,2 and growing scientific evidence associates these with deleterious cardiovascular outcomes.3 A number of explanations have been proposed, including sleep disruption and unhealthy behaviours. This study focused on the role of circadian misalignment, which is the difference between the “social clock” (e.g. work schedules) and the individual “biological clock”.
Dr. Gamboa Madeira explained: “We all have an internal biological clock which ranges from morning types (larks), who feel alert and productive in the early morning and sleepy in the evening, to late types (owls), for whom the opposite is true – with most of the population falling in between. Circadian misalignment occurs when there is a mismatch between what your body wants (e.g. to fall asleep at 10pm) and what your social obligations impose on you (e.g. work until midnight).”
Extract: Dr. Gamboa Madeira said: “These results add to the growing evidence that circadian misalignment may explain, at least in part, the association found between shift work and detrimental health outcomes. The findings suggest that staff with atypical work schedules may need closer monitoring for heart health. Longitudinal studies are needed to investigate whether late chronotypes cope better with late/night shifts and earlier chronotypes to early morning schedules, both psychologically and physiologically.”
Read the complete article at https://www.cathlabdigest.com/content/esc-heart-health-shift-workers-linked-body-clock
References and notes
1Abstract title: Circadian misalignment is associated with a high cardiovascular risk among shift workers: is this an opportunity for prevention in occupational settings?
2Eurofound. Sixth European Working Conditions Survey – Overview report (2017 update). Luxembourg, 2017. doi:10.2806/422172.
3Rivera AS, Akanbi M, O’Dwyer LC, McHugh M. Shift work and long work hours and their association with chronic health conditions: A systematic review of systematic reviews with meta-analyses. PLoS One. 2020;15:e0231037. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0231037.
About the European Association of Preventive Cardiology
The European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC) is a branch of the ESC. Its mission is to promote excellence in research, practice, education and policy in cardiovascular health, primary and secondary prevention.
About ESC Preventive Cardiology 2021 #ESCPrev2021
ESC Preventive Cardiology 2021, formerly EuroPrevent, is the leading international congress on preventive cardiology and the online annual congress of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
About the European Society of Cardiology
The European Society of Cardiology brings together health care professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people lead longer, healthier lives.