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The Association of Night Shift Work with the Development of Breast Cancer in Women

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DOI: 10.4236/ojepi.2015.51003    2,593 Downloads   3,216 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Breast cancer is a serious public health concern in South Africa and globally. It is estimated that one in seven South Africans will develop cancer in their lifetime. According to a case-controlled study, 80% of cancer cases are thought to be due to external, non-inherited factors, which could potentially have been prevented. The objectives of the current case-control study were: 1) to determine the relationship between night shift work and the development of breast cancer; 2) to explore the relationship between night shift work and other types of cancer; 3) to explore any difference between night shift work and breast cancer, and night shift work and other types of cancer. A total of 106 research participants were selected using non-probability, convenience sampling methods and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Seventy-two (68%) of the women who were interviewed were black, while 32% (n = 35) were white. Of the 106 research participants, 82% (n = 87) had a history of being employed, while 18% (n = 19) had never been employed. Analysed data showed that 29% (n = 31) of the women had a history of working night shift. Of the 31 research participants who reported having worked night shift, 90% (n = 28) had actually done rotating shift work, rather than regular night shift work. The odds ratio of working night shift was found to be 1.24 (OR = 1.24, p = 0.615) higher in breast cancer research participants compared to research participants diagnosed with other types of cancer—odds ratio of 0.80 (p = 0.610). For rotational work, the OR was 1.445, indicating a higher risk than for shift work. It is recommended that the relationship between working night shift and breast cancer risk be explored further through cross-sectional and cohort studies.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Moukangoe, P. and Jansen van Rensburg, M. (2015) The Association of Night Shift Work with the Development of Breast Cancer in Women. Open Journal of Epidemiology, 5, 14-21. doi: 10.4236/ojepi.2015.51003.

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