Tuesday October 22, 2019

Women Working in Night Shifts Are on Higher Risk of Early Menopause

For the study, the team studied more than 80,000 nurses who worked at least in the night shifts in a month for over 22 years in addition to day and evening shifts

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The results in post-menopausal women may not be generalisable to men or younger women. Pixabay

Women who work in night shifts, even occasionally, are at an increased risk of early menopause, which can heighten the possibility of developing cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and memory problems, finds a new study.

The study showed women who had done continued night shifts for 20 months or more in the preceding two years had a nine per cent increased risk of early menopause, the Daily Mail reported. If they had done rotating night shifts for more than 20 years, the risk rose to 73 per cent.

“For women who went through menopause before the age of 45, shift work seemed to be particularly important. This could be due to disruption of their circadian rhythms, stress or fatigue, although more research is needed,” lead author David Stock, from the University of Dalhousie in Canada, was quoted as saying.

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Night shifts can raise risk of early menopause: Study. Pixabay

An early menopause could also come from the stress of working late at night, as stress hormones are believed to disrupt sex hormones like oestrogen. This could also increase the chance that a woman stops ovulating, according to the study published in the journal Human Reproduction.

Previous evidence suggests working in ‘high-strain’ jobs and those with ‘difficult schedules’ is linked to earlier menopause.

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For the study, the team studied more than 80,000 nurses who worked at least in the night shifts in a month for over 22 years in addition to day and evening shifts. (IANS)

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The First All-Women Spacewalk is Set to Take Place This Week: NASA

According to NASA, The Spacewalk will last approximately six and a half hours

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The Spacewalk will last approximately six and a half hours, according to NASA. Pixabay

The first all-woman spacewalk is set to take place this week itself as NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir are scheduled to venture outside the International Space Station (ISS) on October 17 or October 18.

The spacewalk will last approximately six and a half hours, according to NASA.

“@Space_Station update: our first all-female spacewalk with @Astro_Christina and @Astro_Jessica will be Thursday or Friday to replace a faulty battery charge-discharge unit,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted on Tuesday.

Station managers decided to postpone previously planned spacewalks that had been set to install new batteries this week and next in order to replace the faulty power unit, called a Battery Charge/Discharge Unit (BCDU).

The BCDU failed to activate following the October 11 installation of new lithium-ion batteries on the space station’s truss.

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The Spacewalk will last approximately six and a half hours, according to NASA. Pixabay

NASA said that the BCDU failure has not impacted station operations, safety of the crew, or the ongoing experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory, many in preparation for future human missions to the Moon and Mars.

However, the failed power unit does prevent a new lithium-ion battery installed earlier this month from providing additional station power.

An all-woman spacewalk, involving Koch and NASA astronaut Anne McClain, was originally scheduled for March.

But that spacewalk was scuttled because properly fitted spacesuits could not be readied in time for both astronauts, Space.com reported.

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An all-woman Spacewalk, involving Koch and NASA astronaut Anne McClain, was originally scheduled for March. Pixabay

So far, the 15 women who have conducted a spacewalk did so with a male companion. So when Koch and Meir venture out of the space station this week, they will make some long-overdue history.

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This will be Koch’s fourth spacewalk and Meir’s first. (IANS)