Shift work increases the severity of strokes later in life
Shift work is associated with increased risk for vascular disease, including stroke- and cardiovascular-related mortality. Entrainment of circadian activity was stable in all animals maintained on a fixed light:dark 12:12 cycle but was severely disrupted during exposure to shifted LD cycles (12hr advance/5d). Following treatment, circadian entrainment in the shifted LD group was distinguished by increased daytime activity and decreased rhythm amplitude that persisted into middle-age. Circadian rhythm desynchronization in shifted LD males and females was accompanied by significant elevations in circulating levels of the inflammatory cytokine IL-17A and gut-derived inflammatory mediator lipopolysaccharide (LPS) during the post-treatment period. Middle-cerebral artery occlusion, 3 months after exposure to shifted LD cycles, resulted in greater post-stroke mortality in shifted LD females.