A meta-analysis was conducted to quantitatively evaluate the correlation between night shift work and the risk of colorectal cancer. We searched for publications up to March 2015 using PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, EMBASE and the Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure databases, and the references of the retrieved articles and relevant reviews were also checked. OR and 95% CI were used to assess the degree of the correlation between night shift work and risk of colorectal cancer via fixed- or random-effect models. A dose-response meta-analysis was performed as well. The pooled OR estimates of the included studies illustrated that night shift work was correlated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (OR = 1.318, 95% CI 1.121-1.551). No evidence of publication bias was detected. In the dose-response analysis, the rate of colorectal cancer increased by 11% for every 5 years increased in night shift work (OR = 1.11, 95% CI 1.03-1.20). In conclusion, this meta-analysis indicated that night shift work was associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Further researches should be conducted to confirm our findings and clarify the potential biological mechanisms.
Keywords: colorectal cancer; epidemiology; meta-analysis; night shift work; risk factor.