Gong Yang
Faculty Member
Last active: 4/27/2017

Night-shift work and breast cancer risk in a cohort of Chinese women.

Pronk A, Ji BT, Shu XO, Xue S, Yang G, Li HL, Rothman N, Gao YT, Zheng W, Chow WH
Am J Epidemiol. 2010 171 (9): 953-9

PMID: 20375193 · PMCID: PMC2877476 · DOI:10.1093/aje/kwq029

Shift work involving disruption of circadian rhythms has been classified as a probable cause of human cancer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, based on limited epidemiologic evidence and abundant experimental evidence. The authors investigated this association in a population-based prospective cohort study of Chinese women. At baseline (1996-2000), information on lifetime occupational history was obtained from 73,049 women. Lifetime night-shift exposure indices were created using a job exposure matrix. During 2002-2004, self-reported data on frequency and duration of night-shift work were collected. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals, adjusted for major breast cancer risk factors, were calculated. During follow-up through 2007, 717 incident cases of breast cancer were diagnosed. Breast cancer risk was not associated with ever working the night shift on the basis of the job exposure matrix (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.0, 95% confidence interval: 0.9, 1.2) or self-reported history of night-shift work (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.9, 95% confidence interval: 0.7, 1.1). Risk was also not associated with frequency, duration, or cumulative amount of night-shift work. There were no indications of effect modification. The lack of an association between night-shift work and breast cancer adds to the inconsistent epidemiologic evidence. It may be premature to consider shift work a cause of cancer.

MeSH Terms (14)

Adult Aged Breast Neoplasms China Circadian Rhythm Cohort Studies Female Humans Middle Aged Personnel Staffing and Scheduling Risk Factors Socioeconomic Factors Time Factors Work Schedule Tolerance

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