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European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 369–379 | Cite as

Night shift work and breast cancer: a pooled analysis of population-based case–control studies with complete work history

  • Emilie Cordina-Duverger
  • Florence Menegaux
  • Alexandru Popa
  • Sylvia Rabstein
  • Volker Harth
  • Beate Pesch
  • Thomas Brüning
  • Lin Fritschi
  • Deborah C. Glass
  • Jane S. Heyworth
  • Thomas C. Erren
  • Gemma Castaño-Vinyals
  • Kyriaki Papantoniou
  • Ana Espinosa
  • Manolis Kogevinas
  • Anne Grundy
  • John J. Spinelli
  • Kristan J. Aronson
  • Pascal Guénel
META-ANALYSIS

Abstract

Night shift work has been suspected to increase breast cancer risk but epidemiological studies have been inconsistent due to heterogeneous assessment of exposure to night work. To overcome this limitation, we pooled data of five population-based case–control studies from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and Spain into a single harmonized dataset using a common definition of night work including 6093 breast cancer cases and 6933 population controls. The odds ratio for breast cancer in women who ever worked at night for at least 3 h between midnight and 5 a.m. as compared to never night workers was 1.12 (95% CI 1.00–1.25). Among pre-menopausal women, this odds ratio was 1.26 [1.06–1.51], increasing to 1.36 [1.07–1.74] for night shifts ≥ 10 h, 1.80 [1.20–2.71] for work ≥ 3 nights/week, and 2.55 [1.03–6.30] for both duration of night work ≥ 10 years and exposure intensity ≥ 3 nights/week. Breast cancer risk in pre-menopausal women was higher in current or recent night workers (OR = 1.41 [1.06–1.88]) than in those who had stopped night work more than 2 years ago. Breast cancer in post-menopausal women was not associated with night work whatever the exposure metric. The increase in risk was restricted to ER+ tumors, particularly those who were both ER+ and HER2+ . These results support the hypothesis that night shift work increases the risk of breast cancer in pre-menopausal women, particularly those with high intensity and long duration of exposure. Risk difference between pre- and post-menopausal women deserves further scrutiny.

Keywords

Night shift work Breast cancer Pooled analysis Case–control study Circadian disruption 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

10654_2018_368_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (90 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 89 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilie Cordina-Duverger
    • 1
  • Florence Menegaux
    • 1
  • Alexandru Popa
    • 1
  • Sylvia Rabstein
    • 2
  • Volker Harth
    • 3
  • Beate Pesch
    • 2
  • Thomas Brüning
    • 2
  • Lin Fritschi
    • 4
  • Deborah C. Glass
    • 5
  • Jane S. Heyworth
    • 6
  • Thomas C. Erren
    • 7
  • Gemma Castaño-Vinyals
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • 11
  • Kyriaki Papantoniou
    • 8
    • 10
    • 11
    • 12
  • Ana Espinosa
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • 11
  • Manolis Kogevinas
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • 11
  • Anne Grundy
    • 13
    • 14
  • John J. Spinelli
    • 15
    • 16
  • Kristan J. Aronson
    • 17
  • Pascal Guénel
    • 1
  1. 1.Inserm, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), Cancer and Environment teamUniversité Paris-Sud, Université Paris-SaclayVillejuifFrance
  2. 2.Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident InsuranceInstitute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA)BochumGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Occupational and Maritime Medicine (ZfAM)University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)HamburgGermany
  4. 4.School of Public HealthCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive MedicineMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  6. 6.School of Population and Global HealthThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  7. 7.Institute and Policlinic for Occupational Medicine, Environmental Medicine and Prevention Research, University Hospital of CologneUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  8. 8.IS Global, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL)BarcelonaSpain
  9. 9.IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute)BarcelonaSpain
  10. 10.Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)BarcelonaSpain
  11. 11.CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP)MadridSpain
  12. 12.Department of EpidemiologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  13. 13.CRCHUM (Centre de recherche du CHUM)MontrealCanada
  14. 14.Department of Social and Preventive MedicineUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  15. 15.Population OncologyBC CancerVancouverCanada
  16. 16.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  17. 17.Department of Public Health Sciences and Cancer Research InstituteQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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