By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

From the same journal

Night shift work and risk of breast cancer in women: the Generations Study cohort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Published copy (DOI)


  • Michael E Jones
  • Minouk J Schoemaker
  • Emily C McFadden
  • Lauren B Wright
  • Louise E Johns
  • Anthony J Swerdlow


Publication details

JournalBritish journal of cancer
DateE-pub ahead of print - 29 May 2019
DatePublished (current) - 16 Jul 2019
Issue number2
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)172-179
Early online date29/05/19
Original languageEnglish


BACKGROUND: It is plausible that night shift work could affect breast cancer risk, possibly by melatonin suppression or circadian clock disruption, but epidemiological evidence is inconclusive.

METHODS: Using serial questionnaires from the Generations Study cohort, we estimated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) for breast cancer in relation to being a night shift worker within the last 10 years, adjusted for potential confounders.

RESULTS: Among 102,869 women recruited in 2003-2014, median follow-up 9.5 years, 2059 developed invasive breast cancer. The HR in relation to night shift work was 1.00 (95%CI: 0.86-1.15). There was a significant trend with average hours of night work per week (P = 0.035), but no significantly raised risks for hours worked per night, nights worked per week, average hours worked per week, cumulative years of employment, cumulative hours, time since cessation, type of occupation, age starting night shift work, or age starting in relation to first pregnancy.

CONCLUSIONS: The lack of overall association, and no association with all but one measure of dose, duration, and intensity in our data, does not support an increased risk of breast cancer from night shift work in women.

    Research areas

  • Adult, Breast Neoplasms/chemistry, Cohort Studies, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Receptor, ErbB-2/analysis, Risk Factors, Shift Work Schedule/adverse effects

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