Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Night-Shift Workers Can Face Multiple Health Risks

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Night-Shift Workers Can Face Multiple Health Risks

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: I hear that shift workers can develop health problems. What is known about that?

Dear Reader: More than 9 million people in the United States are shift workers like you. Studies show that nearly 10 percent of night- shift workers have severe reactions to that schedule. Some become overwhelmingly sleepy during the night shift, when they need to be alert. Some have trouble concentrating and focusing on a task. Others can't really fall deeply asleep during the day, when they need to get some sleep.

Another health risk faced by night-shift workers is from driving home after work. Several studies show that they are more likely to have accidents. That's particularly true if their drive home lasts longer than 30 minutes, which is true of about a third of shift workers. Other studies find that about 20 percent of fatal auto accidents involve a drowsy driver. …

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