News: Long-term night shifts linked to doubled risk of breast cancer

If you keep a late work schedule, a new study might convince you to seek out a 9 to 5 job. The study, published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, shows that working night shifts for 30 or more years doubles the risk of developing breast cancer.Researchers asked 1134 women with breast cancer and […]

shiftwork

If you keep a late work schedule, a new study might convince you to seek out a 9 to 5 job.

The study
, published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, shows that working night shifts for 30 or more years doubles the risk of developing breast cancer.

Researchers asked 1134 women with breast cancer and 1179 women without breast cancer, who were all the same age, about their careers and how often they did shift work.

The women who had worked night shifts for 30 years or more were twice as likely to have developed the disease – though there was no evidence that those who worked night shifts for 14 years or less had an increased risk.

While the authors say there’s a definite risk, they also recognize that shift work isn’t going anywhere.

‘As shift work is necessary for many occupations, understanding which specific shift patterns increase breast cancer risk, and how night shift work influences the pathway to breast cancer, is needed for the development of healthy workplace policy,’ the authors said, according to a press release.

Do you do shift work? Are you concerned about the results of this study?

-Katharine Watts, associate web editor

Related:
5 health risks of shift work
10 sleep tips for shift workers
What it’s like to be a nurse these days

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