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Night Shift Work-A Risk Factor for Breast Cancer

Szkiela M1, Kusideł E2, Makowiec-Dąbrowska T3, Kaleta D1.

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jan 20;17(2). pii: E659. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17020659.

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Shift work is considered a risk factor for some health problems. This study aimed to determine whether night shift work is a significant factor for breast cancer risk. The case-control study was conducted from 2015-2019 in the Łódź region. The case group included 494 women diagnosed with malignant breast cancer; the control group included 515 healthy women. The research tool was an anonymous questionnaire. In the case group, the percentage of women working shift work was 51.9%, whereas in the control group, it was 34.1% (OR = 2.08 (95% CI: 1.61; 2.69)). A more insightful examination of shift work showed that only night work has a significant impact on breast cancer (OR = 2.61 (95% CI: 1.94; 3.53)). Even after considering the effect of other possible cancer factors (like high BMI, smoking, early menstruation, late menopause, pregnancy history, age, place of living, education), the odds of developing cancer were twice as high in the group of shift workers (OR = 2.20 (95% CI: 1.57; 3.08)). Considering a significantly higher risk of cancer among people working at night and a high percentage of such employees in Poland, the government should consider special action in the prophylactic treatment of cancers.