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Early birds may have lower breast cancer risk

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) – Women who love the early hours of the day are less likely to…

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) – Women who love the early hours of the day are less likely to develop breast cancer, a new study suggests.

British researchers analyzed two databases that included more than 409,000 women to investigate the relationship between sleep characteristics and risk of breast cancer.

Compared with night owls, women who were 40 percent lower in early breast cancer risk, found the study.

The data also showed that women who slept longer than those recommended seven to eight hours a night had a 20 percent increased risk of breast cancer during each additional hour.

“We would like to do further work to investigate the mechanisms underlying these results, as the estimates obtained are based on questions related to morning or evening talks, rather than actually whether people get up sooner or later in the day” says Rebecca Richmond. She is a researcher in the Cancer Research UK Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Program at the University of Bristol.

“In other words, changing your habits can not change the risk of breast cancer, it may be more complicated than that,” she said.

“The result of a protective effect of morning preference on the risk of breast cancer in our study is consistent with previous research,” Richmond said.

“We also found some evidence of a causal effect of increased sleep duration and sleep fragmentation on breast cancer,” she added.

The study was presented Tuesday at the UK National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Annual Cancer Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

The study did not show a causal link between sleep patterns and risk of breast cancer.

“These are interesting results that provide further evidence of how our body clock and our natural sleep preference are involved in one of breast cancer,” said Cliona Clare Kirwan, a member of the NCRI Breast Clinical Studies Group. She was not involved in this research.

“We already know that night shift work is associated with poor mental and physical health. This study provides additional evidence that suggesting disturbed sleep patterns can play a role in cancer development,” says Kirwan in a meeting perspective.

Research presented at meetings is considered provisional until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The American National Cancer Institute has more on breast cancer prevention.

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