Night shift may put women at increased cancer risk: study

Jan 8:Women who work in night shifts may be at a significantly higher risk of breast, skin and stomach cancers, scientists have warned. Since breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer among women worldwide, most previous meta-analyses have focused on understanding the association between female night shift workers and breast cancer risk, but the conclusions have been inconsistent. To build upon previous studies, researchers from Sichuan University in China analysed whether long-term night shift work in women was associated with risk for nearly a dozen types of cancer.
They performed a meta-analysis using data from 61 articles comprising 114,628 cancer cases and 3,909,152 participants from North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The articles consisted of 26 cohort studies, 24 case-control studies, and 11 nested case-control studies. These studies were analysed for an association between long-term night shift work and risk of 11 types of cancer. A further analysis was conducted, which looked specifically at long-term night shift work and risk of six types of cancer among female nurses. Overall, long-term night shift work among women increased the risk of cancer by 19 per cent.
When analysing specific cancers, the researchers found that this population had an increased risk of skin (41 per cent), breast (32 per cent), and gastrointestinal cancer (18 per cent) compared with women who did not perform long-term night shift work. After stratifying the participants by location, researchers found that an increased risk of breast cancer was only found among female night shift workers in North America and Europe.
"We were surprised to see the association between night shift work and breast cancer risk only among women in North America and Europe," said Xuelei Ma, from Sichuan University. "It is possible that women in these locations have higher sex hormone levels, which have been positively associated with hormone-related cancers such as breast cancer," Ma said. Agencies
Source: Agencies



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