Night Shift Can Increase Health Insurance Quotes & Heart Problems

A large study reported by BBC News says that night shift workers have a greater risk for heart problems than people who work day shift.  The British Medical Journal analyzed studies involving over 2 million workers and found that there is a serious disruption in your body’s clock that negatively effects your lifestyle.  In “Shift work link to ‘increased risk of heart problems,” it says that you can lessen your problems by reducing night shift work.  That is much easier said than done for many workers, so how damaging is working night shift and what can be done to combat its harmful effects?

This study analyzed information from 34 different studies around the world.  They found that shift workers were 23% more likely to have a heart attack, 24% more likely to have a coronary event, and 5% more likely to have a stroke than non-shift workers.  Interestingly, they did not find an increase in mortality rates related to heart problems for these workers.  The additional factors taken into account for the studies were diet, socioeconomic status and overall health.  People working night shift have interrupted sleep patterns and typically have worse eating habits than those on regular day shifts.  The fact that their nervous system is constantly activated with no regular sleep patterns also leads to increased obesity and higher cholesterol.

I wonder if health insurance companies compare this factor when they give their insurance quotes.  If those working night shift have a higher rate of heart problems, obesity, and high cholesterol; insurers may have a legitimate reason to increase rates for night shift workers.  To combat higher health insurance rates and heart problems, there are some things night shift workers can do.  They should be educated in the possible symptoms that can occur from working night shift.  Many workers turn to sleep aids, have problems with their appetites and digestion, and may even have social or family problems.  If workers know what to look for ahead of time, they can combat the issues that are leading to heart attacks and other coronary events.  Try not work a permanent night shift and make sure to have two full nights of sleep when going between day and night shift.  Also, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, and avoiding smoking can help combat these heart problems.

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