Does night-shift work increase the risk of prostate cancer? a systematic review and meta-analysis

Onco Targets Ther. 2015 Oct 5;8:2817-26. doi: 10.2147/OTT.S89769. eCollection 2015.


Background: Night-shift work is suggested to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, but its association with prostate cancer is still controversial. We examined this association by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods: Studies were identified by searching PubMed, EMBASE, Ovid, Web of Science, the Cochrane register, and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases through December 25, 2014. Summary relative risks (SRRs) with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a random effects or fixed effects model. Heterogeneity and publication bias were also evaluated.

Results: A total of 2,459,845 individuals from eight published studies were included in this meta-analysis. Analysis of all studies suggested that night-shift work was associated with a significantly increased risk of prostate cancer (RR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.05-1.46; P=0.011). Sensitivity analysis showed that the association remained significant when repeating the analysis after removing one study each time. Dose-response meta-analysis suggested that an increase in night-shift work of 5 years duration was statistically significantly associated with a 2.8% (95% CI: 0.3, 5.4%, P=0.030) increase in the risk of prostate cancer. There was no significant publication bias.

Conclusion: Based on a meta-analysis, night-shift work is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Because of the limited number of included studies and the large level of heterogeneity, further well-designed studies are still warranted to confirm the findings of our analysis.

Keywords: meta-analysis; prostate cancer; risk; shift work.