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Long-Term Night-Shift Work May Up Risk for Multiple Sclerosis

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28, 2019 -- A history of 20+ years of rotating night-shift work is associated with an increased risk for definite diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study published online Aug. 12 in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Kyriaki Papantoniou, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., from the Medical University of Vienna, and colleagues examined the correlation between rotating night-shift work history and MS risk in 83,992 women in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and 114,427 in NHSII. Overall, 579 incident physician-confirmed cases of MS were identified, including 407 definite MS cases.

In NHS, the researchers observed no correlation between history of rotating night-shift work and MS risk (one to nine years: hazard ratio [HR], 1.03; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.69 to 1.54; 10+ years: 1.15; 95 percent CI, 0.62 to 2.15), nor was there a correlation seen in NHSII (one to nine years: HR, 0.90; 95 percent CI, 0.74 to 1.09; 10+ years: HR, 1.03; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.72 to 1.49). With restriction to definite MS cases, rotating night-shift work history of 20+ years was significantly associated with MS risk in NHSII (20+ years: HR, 2.62; 95 percent CI, 1.06 to 6.46).

"In NHSII, MS risk tended to increase with a longer history of shift work (20+ years), suggesting that long-term or early career circadian disruption might be critical for MS," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Epi Excellence and Bohn Epidemiology.

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Posted: August 2019

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