Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2017;43(3):250-259    pdf full text

https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3626 | Published online: 02 Mar 2017, Issue date: 01 May 2017

Shift work and colorectal cancer risk in the MCC-Spain case–control study

by Papantoniou K, Castaño-Vinyals G, Espinosa A, Turner MC, Alonso-Aguado MH, Martin V, Aragonés N, Pérez-Gómez B, Pozo BM, Gómez-Acebo I, Ardanaz E, Altzibar JM, Peiro R, Tardon A, Lorca JA, Chirlaque MD, García-Palomo A, Jimenez-Moleon JJ, Dierssen T, Ederra M, Amiano P, Pollan M, Moreno V, Kogevinas M

Objectives Shift work that involves circadian disruption has been associated with a higher cancer risk. Most epidemiological studies to date have focused on breast cancer risk and evidence for other common tumors is limited. We evaluated the risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) in relation to shift work history in a population-based case–control study in Spain.

Methods This analysis included 1626 incident CRC cases and 3378 randomly selected population controls of both sexes, enrolled in 11 regions of Spain. Sociodemographic and lifestyle information was assessed in face-to-face interviews. Shift work was assessed in detail throughout lifetime occupational history. We estimated the risk of colon and rectal cancer associated with rotating and permanent shift work (ever, cumulative duration, age of first exposure) using unconditional logistic regression analysis adjusting for potential confounders.

Results Having ever performed rotating shift work (morning, evening and/or night) was associated with an increased risk for CRC [odds ratio (OR) 1.22, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.04–1.43], as compared to day workers. Having ever worked permanent night shifts (≥3 nights/month) was not associated with CRC risk (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.62–1.00). OR increased with increasing lifetime cumulative duration of rotating shift work (P-value for trend 0.005) and were highest among subjects in the top quartiles of exposure (3rd quartile, 20–34 years, OR 1.38, 95%CI 1.06–1.81; 4th quartile, ≥35 years, OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.02–1.79).

Conclusions These data suggest that rotating shift work may increase the risk of CRC especially after long-term exposures.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2007;33(5):336-343  2010;36(2):96-108  2015;41(3):259-267
The following article refers to this text: 2023;49(3):211-221
Download additional material