Review Article

Does the association of prostate cancer with night-shift work differ according to rotating vs. fixed schedule? A systematic review and meta-analysis




Recent studies suggested that the relation between night-shift work and prostate cancer may differ between rotating and fixed schedules.


We aimed to quantify the independent association between night-shift work and prostate cancer, for rotating and fixed schedules.


We searched MEDLINE for studies assessing the association of night-shift work, by rotating or fixed schedules, with prostate cancer. We computed summary relative risk (RR) estimates with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) using the inverse variance method and quantified heterogeneity using the I2 statistic. Meta-regression analysis was used to compare the summary RR estimates for rotating and fixed schedules, while reducing heterogeneity.


A total of nine studies assessed the effect of rotating and, in addition, four of them provided the effect of fixed night-shift work, in relation to daytime workers. Rotating night-shift work was associated with a significantly increased risk of prostate cancer (RR = 1.06, 95% CI of 1.01 to 1.12; I2 = 50%), but not fixed night-shift work (RR of 1.01, 95% CI of 0.81 to 1.26; I2 = 33%). In meta-regression model including study design, type of population, and control of confounding, the summary RR was 20% higher for rotating vs. fixed schedule, with heterogeneity fully explained by these variables.


This is the first meta-analysis suggesting that an increased risk of prostate cancer may be restricted to workers with rotating night shifts. However, the association was weak and additional studies are needed to further clarify this relation before it can be translated into measures for risk reduction in occupational settings.

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Mancio J is supported by the Fundação Portuguesa para a Ciência e Tecnologia (SFRH/BD/104369/2014) and by the Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia (“Bolsa de investigação João Porto”).

Author information

Author notes


    1. Department of Surgery and Physiology, Cardiovascular Research (UnIC), Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

      • Jennifer Mancio
    2. Department of Cardiology, Centro Hospitalar de Vila Nova de Gaia, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

      • Jennifer Mancio
    3. EPIUnit - Institut of Public Health, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

      • Cátia Leal
      • , Marta Ferreira
      • , Pedro Norton
      •  & Nuno Lunet
    4. Department of Public Health and Forensic Sciences, and Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

      • Nuno Lunet


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    Conflict of interest

    The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

    Corresponding author

    Correspondence to Jennifer Mancio.

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