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Nurses who do night shifts are at a 29% increased risk of becoming obese or overweight, international research shows.

Night shift workers were more likely to develop abdominal obesity than other obesity types, the analysis of 28 published studies found. Permanent night shift workers were at higher risk than rotating shift workers.

Globally, nearly 0.7 billion workers were engaged in a shift work pattern, study senior author Dr Lap Ah Tse said.

Abdominal obesity increased the risk of other adverse health outcomes, such as breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, Dr Ah Tse said. “Modifying work schedules to avoid prolonged exposure to long-term night shift work might help reduce the risk of obesity.”

The study was published in journal Obesity Reviews.