Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health Online-first -article    pdf


Shift work and the incidence of prostate cancer: a 10-year follow-up of a German population-based cohort study

by Behrens T, Rabstein S, Wichert K, Erbel R, Eisele L, Arendt M, Dragano N, Brüning T, Jöckel K-H

Objectives We investigated the association of shift and night work with the incidence of prostate cancer using data of the population-based prospective Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study from the highly industrialized Ruhr area in Germany.

Methods Participants of the baseline survey were recruited between 2000–2003. A follow-up survey including, a detailed interview on shift and night work, was conducted from 2011–2014. We included 1757 men who did not report a history of prostate cancer at baseline. We assessed shift- and night-work exposure up to time of the baseline interview. Incident prostate cancers were recorded from baseline through September 2014. We calculated hazard ratios (HR) of shift- and night-work exposure using Cox proportional hazards regression with age at event as timescale, adjusting for smoking status, family history of prostate cancer, education (≤13, 14–17, ≥18 years), and equivalent income (low, medium, high).

Results We observed a twofold increased HR for prostate cancer among shift and night workers. Ever employment in shift work was associated with HR 2.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.67 and night work with HR 2.27, 95% CI 1.42–3.64. HR increased steadily with duration of employment in shift or night work. Stratifying analyses by preferred midpoint of sleep, yielded strongly elevated HR among subjects with early sleep preference, although these analyses were limited by small number of cases.

Conclusions We identified increased risks for prostate cancer among men with employment in shift or night work. HR were strongly elevated among long-term employed shift workers and men with early preferred midpoint of sleep.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2007;33(5):336-343  2008;34(1):5-22  2010;36(2):163-179  2014;40(5):502-510
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