Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Working the night shift does not increase cancer risk

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According to a study of Swedish workers, working the night shift does not increase the risk of cancer. This study was led by Judith Schwartzbaum at Ohio State. Schwartzbaum and her team analyzed over twenty years of data.

Recent studies had found the opposite, that working the night shift may increase the risk of developing breast, prostate and colon cancers. Some researchers hypothesized that this may be due to a decrease in the hormone melatonin.

Schwartbaum addresses the fact that these results don't agree with a number of previous studies, however, she explains that those studies addressed specific groups of workers such as flight attendants and therefore it may have been difficult to decipher exactly what caused the elevated cancer risk in such groups.

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