Medical profession getting stressful is nothing new. There are multiple dimensions to the multi-pronged stress in present era. A new dimension has been discovered. Night shift are integral part of a hospital, doctors and nurses life. But it has shown to be having far reaching consequences. Night shifts have been linked to DNA damage and more serious illnesses. If these kind of effects prove to be correct in future, it needs a serious thinking over the issue.
Researchers found that on-call doctors who were required to work overnight on-site had lower DNA repair gene expression and more DNA breaks than those who did not work overnight.
Working night shifts can damage a person’s DNA, increasing the risk of cancer as well as cardiovascular, metabolic, and neuro-degenerative diseases, a study has found. For the study published in the journal Anaesthesia, researchers analysed blood samples of 49 healthy full-time doctors taken at different times.
“Although this work is very preliminary, it is clear from the results that even a single night of sleep deprivation can trigger events that may contribute to the development of chronic disease,” said Siu-Wai Choi, of the University of Hong Kong.
Researchers found that on-call doctors who were required to work overnight on-site had lower DNA repair gene expression and more DNA breaks than those who did not work overnight. In these overnight on-site call doctors, DNA repair gene expression decreased and DNA breaks increased after sleep deprivation.
Damaged DNA increased after only one night of sleep deprivation. This DNA damage may help explain the increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurodegenerative diseases associated with sleep deprivation, researchers said.