Study explores effects of occupational, lifestyle risk factors on nurses' health

A prospective study of more than 20,000 nurses aged 20-45 years, 88% of whom had worked night shifts, reported their most common health issues, disease history, reproductive experiences, occupational exposures, and other lifestyle- and work-related factors. The study, which included 13% of all active Korean female nurses, is published in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website until September 17, 2017.

The article entitled "The Korea Nurses' Health Study: A Prospective Cohort Study," is coauthored by Hyun-Young Park, MD, PhD and colleagues from Korea National Institute of Health, Ewha Womans University, Doowon Technical University, Hallym University, Yonsei University, and Seoul National University, Republic of Korea; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA; and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI.

Among the many interesting findings were that gastrointestinal problems were the most commonly reported health issue, affecting about one quarter of the women. Obesity (8.3%) was much less prevalent than among Korean women overall (25.2%), 99% of the nurses were non-smokers, while more than half (58.2%) were regular drinkers.

"As these women continue to participate in this long-term prospective study, it will provide a valuable opportunity to identify associations between lifestyle and environmental factors and risk factors for the development of chronic diseases," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health.​

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