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Early rising women at lower risk of breast cancer Study

08 November 2018

"Using genetic variants associated with people's preference for morning or evening, sleep duration and insomnia, which had previously been identified by three recent UK Biobank genome-wide association studies, we investigated whether these sleep traits have a causal contribution to the risk of developing breast cancer", Dr. Rebecca Richmond, a research fellow at Cancer Research U.K. and the University of Bristol, said in a press release.

Part of the analysis also showed that women who slept longer than the recommended seven to eight hours per night increased their chances of being diagnosed by 20 per cent per additional hour spent asleep.

Led by Dr Rebecca Richmond at the University of Bristol, UK, along with the University of Manchester, the University of Exeter, and U.S. and Norwegian researchers, the large-scale study looked at data from taken from 409,166 women to investigate how a person's preference for mornings or evenings as well as their sleep habits may contribute to the development of breast cancer.

"In other words, it may not be the case that changing your habits changes your risk of breast cancer; it may be more complex than that", she noted.

The study was presented Tuesday at the U.K.'s National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) annual cancer conference, in Glasgow, Scotland.

Women who love a lie-in have a higher risk of developing breast cancer, a new study has warned.

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

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The study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between sleeping patterns and breast cancer risk.

"The authors do not show any biological mechanism by which sleep timing preference could influence breast cancer risk".

The research involving more than 400,000 women found "larks" have a breast cancer risk up to 48 per cent lower than "night owls".

The study was funded by Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council. The World Health Organization already says disruption to people's body clocks because of shift work is probably linked to cancer risk.

"Previous research has looked at the impact of shift work, but this is showing there may be a risk factor for all women". About 5 per cent of women with breast cancer have inherited a gene linked to the condition.

Read: Sleep: Do you get enough?

Dipender Gill, of Imperial College London, said: "Although informative and interesting, this study alone does not warrant any action other than further investigation - people should not be changing their sleep patterns based on the evidence presented here".

Early rising women at lower risk of breast cancer Study