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Open AccessArticle

Night Shift Work, DNA Methylation and Telomere Length: An Investigation on Hospital Female Nurses

1
Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via San Barnaba 8 – IT-20122 Milan, Italy
2
Occupational Health Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Via San Barnaba 8 – IT-20122 Milan, Italy
3
Occupational Health Unit, ASST Santi Paolo e Carlo, Via Antonio di Rudinì, 8 – IT-20142 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2292; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132292
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 26 June 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
Increased breast cancer risk has been reported in some night shift (NS) workers but underlying biological mechanisms are still unclear. We assessed the association between NS work and DNA methylation of tumor suppressor (TP53, CDKN2A, BRCA1, BRCA2) and estrogen receptor (ESR1, ESR2) genes, methylation of repetitive elements (LINE-1, Alu), and telomere length (TL). Forty six female nurses employed in NS for at least two years were matched by age (30–45 years) and length of service (≥1 year) with 51 female colleagues not working in NS. Each subject underwent a semi-structured interview and gave a blood sample. We applied linear regression and spline models adjusted for age, BMI, smoking habit, oral contraceptive use, parity and marital status/age at marriage. Currently working in NS was associated with ESR1 hypomethylation (β: −1.85 (95%CI: −3.03; −0.67), p = 0.003). In current and former NS workers we observed TP53 (−0.93 (−1.73; −0.12), p = 0.03) and BRCA1 (−1.14 (−1.71; −0.58), p <0.001) hypomethylation. We found an increase between TL and number of years in NS in subjects employed in NS <12 years (0.06 (0.03; 0.09), p <0.001), while a decrease if employed in NS ≥12 years (−0.07 −0.10; −0.04), p <0.001). Our findings show NS-associated markers potentially involved in cellular aging, genomic instability, and cancer development. View Full-Text
Keywords: night shift work; breast cancer; DNA methylation; telomere length; female nurses night shift work; breast cancer; DNA methylation; telomere length; female nurses
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Carugno, M.; Maggioni, C.; Crespi, E.; Bonzini, M.; Cuocina, S.; Dioni, L.; Tarantini, L.; Consonni, D.; Ferrari, L.; Pesatori, A.C. Night Shift Work, DNA Methylation and Telomere Length: An Investigation on Hospital Female Nurses. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2292.

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