Rotating night shift work affects age at menopause

  • Stock D & al.
  • Hum Reprod
  • 12 Feb 2019

  • curated by Elisabeth Aron, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Early menopause may be exacerbated by rotating night shifts. 

Why this matters

  • Early age at menopause has been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and cognitive decline.
  • Late age at menopause has been associated with increased risk for breast and endometrial cancer.
  • Night work has been associated with changes in ovulation and preterm labor.

Key results

  • 61% reported working rotating night shifts, with a mean cumulative duration of 70.5 months prior to 1989.
  • 38% reported working rotating night shifts, with a mean cumulative duration of 36.9 months between 1989 and 2011.
  • As women aged, their mean cumulative duration decreased (8% at >50 years vs 23% at
  • Women with ≥10 months of rotating night shift work in the previous 2-year interval had an increased risk for early menopause (multivariable adjusted HR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.02-1.16).

Study design

  • Prospective cohort study.
  • Cohort identified from the Nurses' Health Study 2 (n=80,840).
  • Women with rotating night shift work (working nights concurrently with evenings and/or days).
  • Questionnaires used to assess cumulative months of rotating night shifts and age at natural menopause.
  • Funding: CDC; National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; NIH. 

Limitations

  • Self-reporting bias possible.

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