Night or irregular work increases vulnerability

Posted on 27/04/2021 06:00

Attendance at places that may have less hygiene at night and neglect with prevention due to fatigue may be associated with weaknesses – (Credit: Jenna Moon / AFP)

According to British scientists, working at night and irregular hours makes individuals more susceptible to Kovid-19. The team analyzed the medical records of more than 280,000 people in the UK and found a three times higher risk of testing positive for new coronovirus infection in people with professional routines other than business hours. In the survey, presented in the latest issue of the special magazine Breast, The authors state that they still do not know the reasons for this relationship, but suspect that imbalances in the biological clock, normal in people with unconventional processes, may compromise the body’s defense system.

Experts decided to evaluate individuals with irregular work shifts during an epidemic due to scientific indications that this routine affects people’s health. “Globally, shiftwork is becoming increasingly common, with 10% to 40% of the workforce doing so in most countries. Previous studies have also found adverse effects on health caused by shift work, such as the risk of respiratory diseases, diabetes, cancer and infectious diseases. All these have influenced us to better analyze the subject in the context of the new coronavirus.

Professional data from 40 to 69-year-olds participating in a large study called the UK Biobank focused on investigating ways to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases and cancer, among other diseases. Experts compared information collected recently with medical data from a chosen sample.
“Our results showed that a person who works in irregular night shifts is three times more likely to test positive for Kovid-19 than one who does not work on a floating shift,” the authors say. In the case of day and night time alternators, this risk has been reduced to two-fold.

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The team believes that a well-known vulnerability to SAR-COV-2 between workers in essential services and healthcare can generate errors during analysis. To avoid the problem, scientists analyzed people with occupations from other fields. “In all of these cases, shiftwork was still associated with a greater risk of being a Kovid-19, which shows us that this difference exists regardless of the person’s profession,” John Blakely, University of Manchester, in a statement A researcher of K asserted. , United Kingdom, and one of the authors of the study.

The hypothesis

The reasons for the greater vulnerability are still unclear to scientists, but they make some hypotheses. One of them is that the increased risk of contracting Covid-19 in people with nocturnal and erratic work is due to routine limitations, such as less time to clean the environment during shift changes, and also to exhaustion. , Which signifies less care with safety. Tips to protect yourself from coronavirus.

There is also a possibility that shift work will change the way the immune system reacts to infection. This is due to the blockage of the body’s natural 24-hour cycle. “Given that the immune system is controlled by the circadian clock, it is possible that shift work may cause ‘circadian misalignment’ and increase a person’s susceptibility to Kovid-19 infection”, the authors admit Huh.

Luciano Lorenko, general practitioner and head of the emergency department at Brasilia’s Hospital Santa Lucia, explains how changes in the circadian cycle lead to a significant imbalance in the organism. “We have a type of daily hormonal seizures. Every day, an important hormone is released for our body, cortisol. And it happens early in the morning and at 5 in the evening. For people who do not sleep at night, it becomes irregular and causes problems in the production of other important hormones. We need them regularly for homeostasis, which is the balance of the body.

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Doctors recall that among health professionals, this is a constant concern. “We work for 12 hours a day and this increases fatigue so much that food gets spoiled. It also causes our body to lose a form of protection, which acts to protect itself against any invading agent, the so-called innate defense of the body ”, he explains. “The study did not evaluate the issue, but it is very likely that, in research, people infected with the new coronovirus and who worked at night presented moderate and severe cases of the disease due to a deterioration in defense. It It is quite possible that it affects the development of Kovid-19 in the body ”, he assesses.

New step

Scientists intend to do more research on the subject, but preventive measures need to be taken to protect workers who follow different routines. “We know that it is possible to reduce these risks through good hand washing, facial protection, adequate distance and vaccination. For this reason, we recommend these works to these individuals ”, emphasizes Hannah Durrington, a researcher at the University of Manchester and the author of the study.

Luciano Lorenco says: “It is important to eat well, exercise and take care to protect against viruses. Only then will we maintain that primary defense of our body high. It is essential for our organism to organize the world , Not the other way around.

Exercise for mental well-being

    (Credit: Guillermo Arius / AFP)

Credit: Guillermo Arius / AFP

Children’s mental health has been a concern for parents and experts during the epidemic. Therefore, researchers in Germany decided to investigate how the routines of the younger ones could be more protective. The group stated that regular physical activity helps avoid psychological damage in this age group.
“The effects of social inhibition on children and adolescents are widely discussed in the medical field and are well studied”, emphasizing, in a statement, Catherine Wunsch, Sports and Sports Sciences Institute of Carusi The Institute of Technology (KIT) and one of the authors of the study, presented yesterday in the special journal Children.
In this survey, which began in the second half of 2020, researchers asked more than 1,000 children aged 4 to 10 to answer well-being questions and describe the activities that took place during the day. As a comparison, the scientists used data from a survey conducted between August 2018 with 1,711 children and adolescents who responded to the same items.
As per the time suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO), volunteers were asked about the number of days of the week how many days of the week they had been physically active. It was observed that children who performed physical activities more often showed better mental health, for example less fatigue and irritation.

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Teenagers

Outdoor activities and training are considered at home – done through electronic devices. While children were supervised practicing these practices, parents, guided by scientists, monitored compliance with safety regulations. “We work with an analysis system in which 50 points is the ideal measure of mental health. These youngsters managed to increase by about 5 points with exercise performance, something encouraging “, evaluates Wunsch.” Even children who already had healthy levels of this epidemic period. Showed improvement when they exercised. “
Researchers point out that the analysis also needs to be done with adolescents, and they believe that the improvements will not be as significant in children. The reason for this is that young people tend to have more stressful routines, for example with a plethora of remote classes. The team says it will continue to assess whether exercise can have long-term protective effects.

Sarah Gracie

About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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