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Shift work and cancer: more research needed from low and middle income countries
  1. J Valérie Groß1,
  2. Lin Fritschi2,
  3. Thomas C Erren1
  1. 1Institute and Policlinic for Occupational Medicine, Environmental Medicine and Prevention Research, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  2. 2School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr J Valérie Groß, Institute and Policlinic for Occupational Medicine, Environmental Medicine and Prevention Research, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne D-50937, Germany; juliane.gross{at}uk-koeln.de

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In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified shift work that involves circadian disruption as probably carcinogenic to humans. However, until today the question ‘Are there causal relationships between shift work, circadian disruption and cancer?’ is open. Therefore, studies such as the one by Wendeu-Foyet et al1 are important to investigate this presumed association with potential high relevance for occupational medicine and public health. We agree with the authors that conflicting results in different studies could result from different definitions of shift work. More generally, though, we ask: Are epidemiological studies designed appropriately to identify associations between shift work and circadian disruption and cancer in diverse …

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