Exposure to Radiation During Work Shifts and Working at Night Act as Occupational Stressors Alter Redox and Inflammatory Markers


Background: Studies of breast cancer etiology suggest evidence that night shift working and occupational exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) are defined risk factors for breast cancer development. There are few studies to clarify neuroendocrine and inflammatory status and the possible consequences particularly in occupational exposure.

Aim of the study: Our aim was to associate the redox and inflammatory biomarkers with either nightshift working or occupational radiation exposure, and to compare their levels between the two groups at Alexandria University Hospitals, Alexandria, Egypt.

Methods: We included 150 female nurses at Alexandria University Hospitals: 50 nightshift workers, 50 radiation workers, and 50 dayshift workers as a control group (neither work nightly nor radiation workers). In morning serum sample (7 am), we measured the concentrations of serum melatonin, Cortisol, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) by ELISA; malondialdehyde (MDA) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) levels colorimetrically, and C-reactive protein (C-RP) levels by turbidimetric method.

Results: Nightshift workers had significantly lower levels of melatonin and TAC, and higher levels of serum inflammatory markers and cortisol, than day shift control group of workers. Workers occupationally exposed to IR had significantly higher levels of serum melatonin, MDA and inflammatory markers, lower levels of serum cortisol, and lower TAC than day shift workers.

Conclusion: Occupational exposure to IR and working nightly alter circulating redox and inflammatory biomarkers.

Authors: Sanaa A El-Benhawy, Rasha A El-Tahan, Sameh F Nakhla
; Full Source: Archives of medical research 2020 Oct 7;S0188-4409(19)30919-1. doi: 10.1016/j.arcmed.2020.10.001.