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Women working long-term night-shift jobs are twice as likely to develop breast cancer, warns study

in CANADA, 07/07/2013

Women who work long-term night-shift jobs – including nurses, cleaners, care workers and call-centre handlers – are twice as likely to develop breast cancer as those who do normal hours, research suggests.

Canadian researchers examined 1,134 women with breast cancer and 1,179 women without the disease, but of the same age. Women were questioned about their work and shift patterns and researchers also assessed hospital records of the women who suffered from the disease. About a third of the women had a history of night shift work.

The study, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that those who had worked nights for 30 or more years were twice as likely to have developed the disease, after taking account of potentially influential factors, although the numbers in this group were comparatively small.

No such relationship was found if women worked for less than 30 years doing shift work.

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