Does the modern urbanized sleeping habitat pose a breast cancer risk?

Chronobiol Int. 2011 Feb;28(1):76-80. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2010.531490.


Due to its disruptive effects on circadian rhythms and sleep deprivation at night, shiftworking is currently recognized as a risk factor for breast cancer (BC). As revealed by the present analysis based on a comparative case-control study of 1679 women, exposure to light-at-night (LAN) in the "sleeping habitat" is significantly associated with BC risk (odds ratio [OR] = 1.220, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.118-1.311; p < .001), controlling for education, ethnicity, fertility, and alcohol consumption. The novelty of the present research is that, to the best of the authors' knowledge, it is the first study to have identified an unequivocal positive association between bedroom-light intensity and BC risk. Thus, according to the results of the present study, not only should artificial light exposure in the working environment be considered as a potential risk factor for BC, but also LAN in the "sleeping habitat."

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Circadian Rhythm / radiation effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Light / adverse effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep*
  • Urbanization