Longer Sleep and Higher Risk

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work

MAY 22, 2017

Sometimes a newly released study makes no sense to me. This is one of them, but I am intrigued, so am sharing it with you. A recent report in the British Journal of Cancer suggests that: Compared to women sleeping eight hours a night, women who slept at least nine hours were 46 percent more likely to die of breast cancer, the study found. After up to 30 years of follow-up, the women who got more sleep were also 34 percent more likely to die of other causes.

Were these long sleepers, perhaps, more frail before diagnosis? Or dealing with other medical problems? Or did they have later stage diagnoses or more difficult treatment? Of are there are confounding factors....?

Here is a report from Medscape:

Longer Nightly Sleep Duration Tied to Worse Breast Cancer
Survival Odds

By Lisa Rapaport

“Sleep duration, but also changes in sleep duration before versus after diagnosis, as well as regular difficulties to fall or to stay asleep, may also be associated with mortality among women with breast cancer,” said lead study author Claudia Trudel-Fitzgerald of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
“Given that long sleep duration has been associated with mortality among cancer-free individuals, as well as among breast cancer patients in recent studies including ours, it is possible that the relationship of sleep duration with survival also exists for other types of cancer,” Trudel-Fitzgerald said by email. “However, further research is warranted.”
For the study, researchers examined data on post-diagnosis sleep duration for 3,682 women with breast cancer. They also examined pre-diagnosis sleep duration in a subset of 1,949 women and post-diagnosis sleep difficulties in a subset of 1,353 women.

Read more: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/878378_print

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.