Ann Occup Environ Med.  2020 ;32(1):e26. 10.35371/aoem.2020.32.e26.

Risk factors including night shift work of colorectal polyp

  • 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Ajou University Hospital, Suwon, Korea
  • 2Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine and Genomic Cohort Institute, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea
  • 4Department of Family Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea
  • 5Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Wonju Severance Christian Hospital, Wonju, Korea


The destruction of circadian rhythms by night shift work affects major circadian genes, which are known to play a role in advancing or killing the cell cycle through tumor suppressor genes. To find out whether night shift work affects the incidence of colorectal cancer, which was found to be associated with long-term night shift work in previous studies, we surveyed effect of night shift work on colorectal polyps that have a higher incidence than colorectal cancer and can progress to colorectal cancer.
To examine the correlation between rotating night shifts and colorectal polyps, a survey was conducted with 299 men aged 40–60 years from two university hospitals. We examined lifestyle, work history, work patterns, and colonoscopy results. The differences in prevalence among the groups was compared, and prevalence ratio (PR) was calculated via generalized linear modeling.
The prevalence of colorectal polyps in night shift and non-shift workers were 53.0% and 33.5%, respectively. After adjusting for age, smoking status, dietary habits, family history of colorectal cancer, obesity, job type, night shift work (PR: 1.13, 95% CI: 1.02–1.25) was a risk factor of colorectal polyps.
The risk of colorectal polyps was greater in night shift workers than non-shift workers. Also risk of colorectal polyp was higher in older group. Our study investigated colorectal polyp instead of colorectal cancer and lacks information about types and gene mutations of colorectal polyps. Further study is needed to clarify effect of night shift work on development of colorectal cancer.


Colorectal cancer; Colorectal polyp; Shiftwork
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