Published on 20/06/2012
Nearly 2,000 breast cancer cases every year in Britain can be attributed to night shift work, according to a new study.
Just last month, Danish academics revealed that women working at least three night shifts a week for over six years were twice as likely to develop breast cancer.
Now, British researchers from Imperial College London have calculated that more than 500 women die every year in Britain from breast cancer caused by working nights.
Writing in the British Journal of Cancer, the team state that around 1,960 breast cancer cases- roughly one in 20- can be attributed to night shift work every year.
Around 550 women die from night-shift related breast cancer each year.
According to the study, funded by the Health and Safety Executive, nurses and flight attendants are the two main occupations with the highest risk of developing night-shift related breast cancer.
Melatonin is the ‘sleep hormone’ thought to have anti-cancer qualities. Scientists believe that the disruption of normal sleep-wake cycle affects production of melatonin.
Dr Lesley Rushton, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, the lead author on the report, explained that the figures were based on the numbers of women estimated to have been in involved in night shift work for at least a decade.
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© ActiveQuote Health Ltd. 2012Categories: Health