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Shift Workers At-Risk for Heart Attacks & Stroke

Posted Aug 31 2012 10:08pm
Posted on Aug. 28, 2012, 6 a.m. in Cardio-Vascular Lifestyle Stroke

A number of studies document that shift work disrupts the circadian rhythm, sleep, and work-life balance.  David C. Hackam, from Western University (Canada), and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 34 studies involving a total of 2,011,935 adults.   A pooled random-effects analysis showed that shift work was associated with a 23% higher risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), and a 5% higher risk of ischemic stroke.  Comparison of adjusted and unadjusted pooled risk ratios showed similar results.  The risk persisted across different work shifts, with the exception of night-shift workers. Writing that: “Shift work is associated with vascular events,” the study authors submit that their findings “have implications for public policy and occupational medicine.”

Vyas MV, Garg AX, Iansavichus AV, Costella J, Donner A, Laugsand LE, Janszky I, Mrkobrada M, Parraga G, Hackam DG. “Shift work and vascular events: systematic review and meta-analysis.”  BMJ. 2012 Jul 26;345:e4800.

  
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32. Head Off Headaches, Joint Pain, Heart Disease, and Cancer
A compound found in olive oil, called oleocanthal, has anti-inflammatory properties much like those associated with the painkiller ibuprofen, an NSAID (see Tip 40), found U.S. researchers in 2005. Oleocanthal inhibits COX enzymes responsible for the inflammatory response implicated in headaches and joint pain. This study not only supports that regular consumption of olive oil might have some of the long-term health benefits of ibuprofen, but may help explain olive oil's widely reported health benefits such as in lowering the rates of heart disease and cancer in populations that consume it in large quantities (such as Mediterranean countries). The study authors conclude that "Our findings raise the possibility that long-term consumption of oleocanthal may help to protect against some diseases."
 
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