1656a Can we reduce harm from shiftwork?

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Abstract

The association between shiftwork and cancer has been the focus of a number of case-control and cohort studies since the 2010 declaration by the International Agency for Research on Cancer that shiftwork which involves circadian disruption probably caused breast cancer. There is still debate about the association. However shiftwork has also been associated with a range of other health conditions including fatigue, injury, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, there has been a lot of interest in whether people with different chronotypes (e.g. morning people versus evening people) react to shiftwork differently. Shiftwork cannot be avoided in our 24 hour society, but we have a responsibility to minimise the health impacts upon shiftworkers. We need to consider what aspects of shiftwork might be related to the different health conditions in order to minimise any effect on workers. Thus, whether shiftwork causes breast cancer or not, there is still useful advice we can give shiftworkers in order to improve the quality of life of those working night shifts. This talk will review some of the potential interventions to improve the health for healthier shift work including sleep hygiene, physical activity, food intake, and control of light types and levels.

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