Shift workers are slightly more at risk of having a heart attack or stroke than day workers, research suggests.
An analysis of studies involving more than 2m workers in the British Medical Journal said shift work can disrupt the body clock and have an adverse effect on lifestyle.
It has previously been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.
Limiting night shifts would help workers cope, experts said.
The team of researchers from Canada and Norway analysed 34 studies.
In total, there were 17,359 coronary events of some kind, including cardiac arrests, 6,598 heart attacks and 1,854 strokes caused by lack of blood to the brain.
These events were more common in shift workers than in other people.
The BMJ study calculated that shift work was linked to a 23% increased risk of heart attack, 24% increased risk of coronary event and 5% increased risk of stroke.
But they also said shift work was not linked to increased mortality rates from heart problems and that the relative risks associated with heart problems were “modest”.
The researchers took the socioeconomics status of the workers, their diet and general health into account in their findings.
Another meta-analysis data dredge. Even then they could only manage RR 1.05-1.24. Meh…