Work at night and breast cancer - report on evidence-based options for preventive actions

JP Bonde, J Hansen, HA Kolstad, S Mikkelsen, JH Olsen, DE Blask, M Harma, H Kjuus, Harry de Koning, J Olsen, M Moller, ES Schernhammer, RG Stevens, T Akerstedt

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Abstract

In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified shift work involving circadian disruption as probably carcinogenic to humans (group 2A), primarily based on experimental and epidemiologic evidence for breast cancer. In order to examine options for evidence-based preventive actions, 16 researchers in basic, epidemiological and applied sciences convened at a workshop in Copenhagen 26-27 October 2011. This paper summarizes the evidence from epidemiological and experimental studies and presents possible recommendations for prevention of the effects of night work on breast cancer. Among those studies that quantified duration of shift work, there were statistically significant elevations in risk only after about 20 years working night shift. It is unclear from these studies whether or not there is a modest but real elevated risk for shorter durations. Hence, restriction of the total number of years working night shift could be one future preventive recommendation for shift workers. The diurnal secretion of melatonin by the pineal gland with peak in secretory activity durin Work during the night is widespread worldwide. To provide additional evidence-based recommendations on prevention of diseases related to night shift work, large studies on the impact of various shift schedules and type of light on circadian rhythms need to be conducted in real work environments.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)380-390
Number of pages11
JournalScandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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