New Research Shift Workers Should Be Aware of…….

Read on if you are interested in identifying whether you might have heart disease, learn about a possible new way to treat sleep apnea, or hear more about sleep disorders…….

Identifying your risk for heart disease:People with raised yellow patches of skin (called xanthelasmata) around the upper or lower eyelids have an increased risk of heart attack or suffering from heart disease, finds research published online in the British Medical Journal. The study surveyed 12,745 individuals who had participated in the Copenhagen City Heart Study. The participants were between 20 and 93 and were free of heart disease when the study began. They were followed from 1976-8 until 2009.

During the follow-up 1,872 of the participants had a heart attack, 3,699 developed heart disease, 1,498 had a stroke, 1,815 developed cerebrovascular disease (impacting the blood vessels supplying the brain) and 8,507 died. For all age groups of both men and women, the risk of having a heart attack, developing heart disease or dying within a ten year period increased in individuals with xanthelasmata. This increased risk was present in the absence of other risk factors such as smoking, obesity or high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The highest risks were found in men between the ages of 70 and 79. Those with xanthelasmata had a 53% increased risk compared to the 41% risk for men without the condition, an absolute increase of 12%. The figures for women were 35% and 27%, respectively.

A different way to treat sleep apnea (discuss with your doctor first):

Want a low-tech way to improve obstructive sleep apnea? Wear compression stockings. “We found that in patients with chronic venous insufficiency, compression stockings reduced daytime fluid accumulation in the legs, which in turn reduced the amount of fluid flowing into the neck at night, thereby reducing the number of apneas and hypopnea by more than a third,” said Stefania Redolfi, MD, of the University of Brescia in Italy, who led a study showing the effectiveness of wearing compression stocking for reducing the number of apnea events.

Continuous positive airway pressure machines, known as CPAP, are one of the only treatment options currently recommended for people with OSA. However compliance is low as the masks are uncomfortable and the machines are loud. Finding a more effective means of treating OSA, therefore, is a high priority.
During the study, at the end of the compression stocking period (which was only one week), subjects had an average of a 62% reduction in overnight leg fluid volume change as compared to when they did not wear the stockings. Patients also had a 60% reduction in neck circumference increase during sleep. Researchers used this as a means of estimating fluid shifting into the neck. Most impressively, patients had a 36% decrease in the number of apneas and hypopnea per hour of sleep.

GERD leads to disordered sleep:

Functional dyspepsia (GERD) is a common, upper gastrointestinal condition affecting approximately 10 percent of U.S. adults; shift workers have a higher prevalence. GERD results in chronic abdominal pain, a sensation of feeling full, and pressure or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Symptoms usually worsen after meals.

Patients with functional dyspepsia were 3.25 times more likely to have disordered sleep compared to healthy controls, according to the study, “Functional Dyspepsia: A Risk Factor for Disordered Sleep.” “About 70% of individuals who have GERD also suffer from nighttime heartburn, and 40% of those people say they experience disturbed sleep at night,” said study co‐author Dr. William Orr, president and CEO of the Lynn Health Science Institute and a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. “They don’t feel good the next day and they don’t perform as well.”

©2011Circadian Age, Inc. ˜WorkingNights”

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