Nowadays nearly 15-20% American and European employees are engaged in night shift works.
During many years specialists claim that this kind of working schedule can bring a lot of harm to human's health.
It was found that night work disrupts person's “internal clock”. As high amount of processes in your body are regulated by circadian rhythm, errors in body’s response to dark and light may contribute to serious health issues like heart disease, obesity and depression.
Moreover, studies show that night shift work may significantly increase risks of several types of cancer.
The reason is that circadian disruption impairs secretion of hormone melatonin, which is well-known for its antioxidative and anticarcinogenic features.
If problems in melatonin production last for a long time, abnormal cells may start to grow and divide in the person's body.
Chinese scientists decided to integrate numerous data from previous researches, looked for link between night work and cancer occurrence, particularly in women.
Dr.Xuelei Ma and his colleagues conducted meta-analysis, using 61 articles. These involved almost four million participants and nearly 114 000 malignancy cases from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
All case-control and cohort studies were analyzed by the team to find out, whether there is association between long-lasting night shift work and chances of getting any of 11 types of cancer.
Researchers published results of their meta-analysis in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, developed by the American Association for Cancer Research.
In general, the study show that women who worked at night for a long time, have 19% higher risks for cancer development.
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In addition to this, results show that being engaged in night shift work for extended period of time can raise woman's risk for skin cancer by 41%. Hazards of developing breast malignancy were 32% higher in women-night workers. And approximately 18% of all participants had increased chances of experiencing gastrointestinal cancer.
It's interesting that correlation between night shift work and increased breast cancer frequency was found only in members, who live in North America and Europe. Scientists suppose that women in these regions have higher levels of reproductive hormones. This may boost risks of getting hormone-related neoplasms, including breast cancer.
According to dose-response analysis, every five years of night shift work add 3.3 percent to risks of breast cancer.
Another separate analysis, conducted by Dr.Ma and his team, found that nurses are most vulnerable to adverse effects of night work. It's may be because this job requires more intensive shift. Another possible explanation for these results is that nurses undergo cancer screenings more often than others because of medical background.
Investigators hope that their findings will help establish efficient measures to protect women who work in night shift schedule.
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