Working night shift could raise cancer risk

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(Alice Park/ Time) — Working the night shift is linked to a number of health issues, from heart disease to obesity to sleep disorders—and even cancer. Now, in a new report, researchers in China have found that women who work the night shift have a 19% increased risk of developing cancer compared to women do not work at night.

The research, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention (a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research), was an analysis of 61 studies that included nearly four million people from North America, Asia and Australia.

When the researchers looked more closely at the types of cancer the women were getting, they found that women who worked night shifts for longer periods of time had a 41% higher risk of skin cancer, 32% higher risk of breast cancer and an 18% greater risk of digestive system cancers compared to women who did not work night shifts.

The risk was highest among nurses who worked at night; their risk of developing breast cancer if they worked night shifts long term was 58% higher than nurses who didn’t have night shifts. (…)

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