Research: Night Shifts Increase Cancer Risk


According to a new study, people who work night shifts may be more at risk of breast or prostate cancer because of hormonal changes.

The cause of this could possible by higher levels of sex hormones at the wrong time. Work that involves night shift was previously linked to a raised cancer risk, but the reason for the same was not clear.

This research was conducted in Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain. In the study, 75 night and 42 day-workers were selected, aged between 22 and 64 years, in different work settings. The candidates were then measured for their hormone levels in urine samples. It was found that night workers had higher level of hormones as compared to day workers.

“We found increased levels of progestagens and androgens as well as delayed peak androgen production in night shift workers compared with day workers,” said the study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention (CEBP).

Night workers were found to have significantly higher levels of sex hormones at the wrong time, such as testosterone peaking between 10am and 2pm, rather than between 6am and 10am

“The increase and mistiming of sex hormone production may explain part of the increased risk for hormone-related cancers observed in night shift workers,” the study stated.

News source: Tribune

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