Breast cancer risk increases for women working night shift - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Study: Breast cancer risk increases for women working night shift

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In 1982, the movie "Night Shift" about mortuary employees working the graveyard shift was played for laughs, but in 2013, we learn that working that overnight shift is no laughing matter when it comes to your health.

A study in the International Journal of Cancer concludes that working the night shift can raise a woman's risk of breast cancer by 30 percent!

French researchers found that the breast cancer risk of women who worked the night shift for at least four years was especially clear, as well as those who only worked the night shift for three or fewer nights a week.

In another study, Canadian  researchers  found that  women who had worked for 30 or more years on the night shift had double the risk for developing breast cancer compared with women who worked the night shift less often.
 
Researchers are not sure why this happens, but suspect it may have something to do with lifestyle changes that happen when you sleep during the day and are up at night.
     
Previous studies have shown going against your body's natural biological clock causes other health problems.

That's because it causes metabolic changes -- affecting hormones known to play a role in regulating weight, as well as affecting blood sugar and insulin levels.

One recent study found that women who worked the night shift had a 20-percent higher chance of developing advanced ovarian cancer.

Other studies have reported that the overnight shift raises your risk of:

  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight 
  • Being depressed
  • Having  a heart attack
  • Makes you more likely to be injured at work due to not enough sleep
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