Published on May 30th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Study Links Breast Cancer to Working Nights
Shift work has been linked to a host of health problems, often due to erratic sleep patterns, and a new study has found a connection between working nights and breast cancer.
The study out of Denmark involved more than 18,500 women who worked for the Danish army between 1964 and 1999. The women in the study who worked as few as two nights a week suffered an increase in breast cancer rates of up to 40%, the findings reveal.
Factors including hormone replacement therapy, sun exposure, use of birth control and other risk factors were examined among the participants as well as their sleep habits and whether they classified themselves as morning or night people. The Daily Mail explains some of the findings concerning night shifts and breast cancer reported in the study:
“Overall, night shift work was linked with a 40 per cent increased risk of breast cancer compared with no night shifts. But women who had worked night shifts at least three times a week for at least six years were more than twice as likely to have contracted the disease as those who had not… Those working this shift pattern for this length of time were even more likely to develop breast cancer if they were ‘morning’ types, says a report in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.”
Researchers emphasized controlling for other risk factors as a way to prevent breast cancer.