Intended for healthcare professionals


Shift work and other stories . . .

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 09 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1281

Shifty immunology

Night shift work has been associated with increased risk of autoimmune disease, infection, cancer, and cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. Nine young volunteers at McGill University, Montreal, have added to our knowledge of circadian patterns in the human immune system by undergoing baseline measurements under normal and night shift conditions (J Immunol doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1502422). After night shifts, except for interleukin 2, cytokine secretion stayed rhythmic but peak level phase advanced by 4.5-6 hours, whereas the rhythm in monocyte and T cell numbers did not shift. More unravelling lies ahead.

I really can’t, mum

The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children birth cohort of nearly 14 000 British children shows that 1.9% of 16 year olds have chronic fatigue syndrome, defined by parental report of …

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