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Schedule shifts, cancer and longevity:
Good, bad or indifferent?

Germaine Cornélissen, Julia Halberg, Franz Halberg, Salvador Sanchez de la Pena, Walter Nelson, Othild Schwartzkopff, Alexander Stoynev and Erhard Haus

Prompted by a recent report of the possible carcinogenic effect of shift-work focusing on the disruption of circadian rhythms, we review studies involving shifts in schedule implemented at varying intervals in unicells, insects and mammals, including humans. Results indicate the desirability to account for a broader-than-circadian view. They also suggest the possibility of optimizing schedule shifts by selecting intervals between consecutive shifts associated with potential side-effects such as an increase in cancer risk. Toward this goal, marker rhythmometry is most desirable. The monitoring of blood pressure and heart rate present the added benefit of assessing cardiovascular disease risks resulting not only from an elevated blood pressure but also from abnormal variability in blood pressure and/or heart rate of normotensive as well as hypertensive subjects.

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