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Female night shift workers at risk factor for common cancers

ANI  |  Washington D.C. [USA] 

Night shifts significantly increase women's chances of cancer, according to a study.

explained that because breast is the most diagnosed among women worldwide, most previous meta-analyses have focused on understanding the association between female night shift workers and breast risk, but the conclusions have been inconsistent.

To build upon previous studies, Ma and colleagues analyzed whether long-term night in women was associated with risk for nearly a dozen types of cancer.

Ma and colleagues 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

The articles consisted of 26 cohort studies, 24 case-control studies, and 11 nested case-control studies. These studies were analyzed for an association between long-term night and risk of 11 types of cancer.

A further analysis was conducted, which looked specifically at long-term night 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 percent. When analyzing specific cancers, the researchers found that this population had an increased risk of skin (41 percent), breast (32 percent), and (18 percent) compared with women who did not perform long-term night shift work.

After stratifying the participants by location, Ma found that an increased risk of was only found among female night shift workers in and

"We were surprised to see the association between night shift work and risk only among women in and Europe," said Ma. "It is possible that women in these locations have higher sex hormone levels, which have been positively associated with such as "

Among female nurses alone, those who worked the night shift had an increased risk of breast (58 percent), gastrointestinal (35 percent), and (28 percent) compared with those that did not work night shifts. Of all the occupations analyzed, nurses had the highest risk of developing breast cancer if they worked the night shift.

"Nurses that worked the night shift were of a medical background and may have been more likely to undergo screening examinations," noted Ma. "Another possible explanation for the risk in this population may relate to the job requirements of night shift nursing, such as more intensive shifts."

The researchers also performed a dose-response meta-analysis among breast cancer studies that involved three or more levels of exposure. They found that the risk of breast cancer increased by 3.3 percent for every five years of night shift work.

"By systematically integrating a multitude of previous data, we found that night shift work was positively associated with in women," said Ma. "The results of this research suggest the need for protection programs for long-term female night shift workers."

"These results might help establish and implement effective measures to protect female night shifters. Long-term night shift workers should have regular physical examinations and cancer screenings."

The findings have been published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 12:51 IST
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