This meta-analysis of 61 articles (involving 3,909,152 patients) finds a positive relationship between long-term night shift work and several common cancers in women, including breast, digestive system, and skin cancers.
A subgroup analysis found that for every 5 years of night shift work, the risk of breast cancer increased by 3.3%.
In a subgroup of nurses, long-term night shift work was associated with breast, digestive system, and lung cancer.
It is imperative that long-term female night shift workers have regular cancer screenings, and appropriate protection measures should be taken, the authors note.
A growing number of studies have examined associations between night shift work and the risks of common cancers among women, with varying conclusions. We did a meta-analysis to identify whether long-term night shift work increased the risks of common cancers in women.