Night-shift work causes mental stress and lifestyle changes, and is recognized as a risk of cardiovascular diseases associated with impaired endothelial function. Aromatherapy is becoming popular as a complementary therapy that is beneficial for mental relaxation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of aromatherapy on the endothelial function of medical staff after night-shift work. This study consisted of 19 healthy medical personnel (19 men, mean age 32±7 years), including 11 physicians and 8 technicians. Aromatherapy was performed for 30?min by inhalation of the essential oil of lavender. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery was measured three times in each subject: on a regular workday, and after night-shift work before and immediately after aromatherapy. A control study was performed to assess the effect of a 30-min rest without aromatherapy. The mean value of sleep time during night-shift work was 3.3±1.3?h. FMD after night-shift work was lower than on a regular workday (10.4±1.8 vs. 12.5±1.7%, P<0.001), which improved after aromatherapy (11.8±2.5%, P=0.02 vs. before aromatherapy). FMD was stable in the control study (10.1±1.9 vs. 10.1±2.2%, P=0.9). This study demonstrated that night-shift work impaired endothelial function in medical staff, an effect that was alleviated by short-term aromatherapy.Hypertension Research advance online publication, 25 November 2010; doi:10.1038/hr.2010.228.
Hypertens Res. 2010 Nov 25. Shimada K, Fukuda S, Maeda K, Kawasaki T, Kono Y, Jissho S, Taguchi H, Yoshiyama M, Yoshikawa J. Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division, Osaka Ekisaikai Hospital, Osaka, Japan.