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Why does shift work increase the risk of cardiovascular disease?

Otto, L.K.M. (2014) Why does shift work increase the risk of cardiovascular disease? Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Abstract

Humans are diurnal, which means that most of their activity occurs during the light phase of the day. The rhythmic alternation of activity and rest is regulated by a circadian clock in the hypothalamus. Due to this rhythm, the whole body is under 24-hour regulation. This includes among others the immune system and various metabolisms. Living out of synchrony with the biological clock can cause health problems, like cardiovascular disease (CVD). Shift work, for example, can cause such a desynchronization. Due to the development towards a 24-hour society, there are increasing numbers of people working in shifts, and therefore have an increased risk of CVD. Knowing this, the question ‘why does shift work increase the risk of CVD?’ arises and this will be the leading question of this thesis. Three stress-pathways have been indicated that can increase this risk due to shift work, namely the behavioral, psychological, and physiological stress-pathways. Via these pathways, many homeostatic processes can be disturbed, which can eventually lead to CVD. This includes high cholesterol levels, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and an increased risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome (MetS). Though many studies have shown the increased risks via these pathways, the different designs of the studies could be influencing the resulting interpretations. Therefore there is still a lot to be done to give a final conclusion about this subject.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:58
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:58
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/12010

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