Short sleep linked to poor breast cancer survival

New York, May 7 (IANS) Short sleep duration combined with frequent snoring reported prior to cancer diagnosis may influence subsequent breast cancer survival, says a study.

One potential mechanism underlying this relationship is the adverse effect of poor sleep on inflammatory pathways, which may be a contributing factor in the development and progression of cancer, the researchers said.

The study found that women who typically slept less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night and were frequent snorers in the years before their cancer diagnosis experienced a poorer cancer prognosis.

“We were surprised to see that snoring, especially in combination with short sleep duration, had such a strong association with cancer survival for certain cancer types,” said lead study author Amanda Phipps from University of Washington.

“To our knowledge, snoring has not previously been evaluated in relation to cancer survival, but our results suggest that it can be an important consideration,” Phipps added in a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

The team analysed 21,230 women diagnosed with a primary invasive cancer in which they also provided information about sleep duration and snoring.

Breast cancer patients who reported sleeping six hours or less per night and snoring five or more nights per week before their diagnosis were two times more likely to die from breast cancer than patients who reported sleeping seven to eight hours per night and rarely snored.

“Healthy, sufficient sleep is essential for individual well-being, population health and public safety,” Nathaniel Watson from American Academy of Sleep Medicine said.

“Unlike so many things, sleep can impact cancer risk and cancer prognosis, sleep is something that an individual can potentially control,” Watson stated.

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