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Sleep Deprivation May Affect Our Genes

Sleep deprivation was associated with DNA damage in a new Anaesthesia study.

Thursday, January 24, 2019 12:01 am EST
"Although this work is very preliminary, it is clear from the results that even a single night of sleep deprivation can trigger events that may contribute to the development of chronic disease"

Sleep deprivation was associated with DNA damage in a new Anaesthesia study.

In the observational study on 49 healthy full-time doctors who had their blood analyzed at different time points, on-call doctors who were required to work overnight on-site had lower DNA repair gene expression and more DNA breaks than participants who did not work overnight. In these overnight on-site call doctors, DNA repair gene expression decreased and DNA breaks increased after sleep deprivation. Damaged DNA increased after only one night of sleep deprivation.

Although additional research is needed, this DNA damage may help explain the increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurodegenerative diseases associated with sleep deprivation.

“Although this work is very preliminary, it is clear from the results that even a single night of sleep deprivation can trigger events that may contribute to the development of chronic disease,” said senior author Dr. Siu-Wai Choi, of the University of Hong Kong.

"Anaesthetists (and other health professionals) frequently work night shifts and on call duties, and their work patterns change frequently between night and day work. This study is important in that it will allow future researchers to study the impact of changing the way we work and other interventions by evaluating DNA breaks in the same way as the authors of this groundbreaking study have done,” said Dr Klein, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/anae.14533  

About Journal 

Anaesthesia is the official journal of the Association of Anaesthetists and is international in scope and comprehensive in coverage. It publishes original, peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of general and regional anaesthesia, intensive care and pain therapy, including research on equipment. Although primarily a clinical journal, we welcome submissions or basic science papers if the authors can demonstrate their clinical relevance. The median time from submission to first decision is 12 days. There is also an active online correspondence website, where you can post and read article-related correspondence.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in research and education. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, and our digital learning, assessment, certification and student-lifecycle services and solutions help universities, academic societies, businesses, governments and individuals to achieve their academic and professional goals. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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