WEBINAR | Is the Cohort Design the Preferable Approach in Studies of Night Work?

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DATE: 8 June 2021 — 16.00 h
VENUE: Online
SPEAKERS: Prof. Eva Schernhammer (Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna), Dr. Pascal Guénel (Inserm – University Paris-Saclay), Dr. Johnni Hansen (Danish Cancer Society Research Center)



It is often claimed that the cohort design is of superior quality compared to the case-control design in studies of occupational exposures and cancer risk. However, most impacts to the evidence of cancer risk was given to case-control studies in the recent evaluations by IARC (2020): “Night work is probably carcinogenic to humans (2A)”, and by the National Toxicology program (2021): “There is high confidence for a causal relationship between human cancer and persistent night shift work. We will discuss this paradox.



Eva S. Schernhammer, MD, DrPH, MSc

Professor and Head,
Department of Epidemiology
Center for Public Health
Medical University of Vienna
Vienna, Austria

Professor Eva Schernhammer has been a leader in the studies of night work and chronic disease risk in humans, using, for the first time, large prospective studies. Her work in the Nurses’ Health Studies has received much international attention and has triggered, in part, the 2007 classification of night shift work as probably carcinogenic (IARC/WHO). She continues to explore these associations by using biomarkers of the circadian system and designing intervention studies to ameliorate the adverse health effects of circadian disruption.

Pascal Guénel, MD, PhD

Center for research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP)
Team Exposome and Heredity (Co-Head)
Inserm – University Paris-Saclay
Villejuif, France

Dr. Pascal Guénel is a researcher in epidemiology specializing in the study of environmental and occupational risk factors for cancers. One of his main research areas is night work and breast cancer. He coordinated a large pooled analysis of case-control studies conducted around the world, which, according to the latest IARC monograph (2019), strengthened the evidence that night work is probably carcinogenic.

Johnni Hansen, MSc, PhD

Danish Cancer Society Research Center
Copenhagen, Denmark

Dr. Johnni Hansen has always worked with epidemiological studies of occupational exposures and risk of chronic diseases, in particular cancer. The most recent scientific interest is working-time, circadian disruption, melatonin, and circadian genes, which has continued for the last two decades. He published the first crude study showing an association between nightshift work and breast cancer risk in 2001, and have participated in the IARC evaluations in 2007 and 2019 and in the recent US National Toxicology Program evaluation of “Night shift work and cancer”.

OMEGA-NET Webinar Series - Session 3