Health Risks for Graveyard Shift

Health & Beauty, Science & Math | | August 6, 2007 at 11:45

Recent articles in Science News have reported on medical findings very relevant to the city that never sleeps and the workforce required to feed that habit. Studies show that men who alternated between daytime and night shifts have triple the incidence of prostrate cancer. (To read more, refer to Vol. 170, p 195 of Science News.) Also eye-opening is the data demonstrating that women exposed to light during the night have reduced melatonin in their blood, supporting growth of breast tumors. (For more, see Vol 169, p 8 Science News.) If you work in those kind of conditions, it is even more critical to have regular medical checkups. You also might consider the potential benefits of supplementing melatonin. Melatonin has been reputed to help reduce cancer risk, but hard science has not yet committed.

For those readers who are interested in the latest developments in science, but don’t feel equipped to read Nature or Scientific American, Science News reports on all fields: astronomy, anthropology, behavior, biomedicine, botony, molecular biology, chemistry, earth science, environment & ecology, food & nutrtion, math & computers, paleobiology, physics, science & society, and technology. In other words, just about every field and its applications. They have a wonderful publication for students called Science News for Kids with articles geared to the younger mind and written in very understandable language. In fact, the beauty of Science News is that the language is kept to a level that allows the average person to penetrate what would otherwise be very dense material.