Can sleep problems Increase the Risk of Prostate Cancer?

logo1267406_mdNew research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention concluded that men who reported sleep problems, including difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. had up to a twofold increase risk of prostate cancer than a control group of sleepers. Researchers followed over 2,100 men from a cohort of over 2400 men aged 67 to 96. When enrolled in the study men answered four questions about sleep disturbance: whether or not they took medications to sleep, if they had trouble falling asleep, if they woke up during the night and had difficulty going back to sleep, or wether they woke up early in the morning and had difficulty going back to sleep. Among the subjects 8.7% and 5.7% reported severe or very severe sleep problems with sleeping respectively and although none had prostate cancer at the start of the study 6.4% were diagnosed with prostate cancer over the next five years.

After adjusting for age, researchers found the risk for prostate cancer increased proportionally with reported severity of problems falling and staying asleep from 1.6 fold to 2.1 fold over those who had no sleep problems. In addition, the association was stronger for advanced prostate cancer than for overall prostate cancer with more than a 3 fold increase in risk for advanced prostate cancer associated with “very severe” sleep problems. Researchers said findings should be confirmed with a larger cohort with a longer observational period.

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