Early risers have less breast cancer risk

HealthDay News reports (via MedicineNet) that a new study found that women who are early risers are less likely to develop breast cancer.

British researchers analyzed two data banks on more than 409,000 women and found that:

  • Compared to night owls, women who are early risers had a 40% lower risk of breast cancer.
  • Women who slept longer than the recommended 7 to 8 hours a night had a 20% increased risk of breast cancer for each additional hour slept.

The study was presented on November 6, 2018, at the U.K.’s National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) annual cancer conference, in Glasgow, Scotland. Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Rebecca Richmond, a research fellow in the Cancer Research U.K. Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Program at the University of Bristol, said:

“We would like to do further work to investigate the mechanisms underpinning these results, as the estimates obtained are based on questions related to morning or evening preference, rather than actually whether people get up earlier or later in the day. 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. However, the findings of a protective effect of morning preference on breast cancer risk in our study are consistent with previous research…. We also found some evidence for a causal effect of increased sleep duration and sleep fragmentation on breast cancer.”

Although this discovery of a correlation between early riser and breast cancer does not establish a causal connection, there is enough data on the deleterious health effects of people who work night shifts to suggest causation.

Cliona Clare Kirwan, a member of the NCRI Breast Clinical Studies Group who was not involved in the UK research, said:

“These are interesting findings that provide further evidence of how our body clock and our natural sleep preference is implicated in the onset of breast cancer. We know already that night shift work is associated with worse mental and physical health. This study provides further evidence to suggest disrupted sleep patterns may have a role in cancer development.”

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~Eowyn

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CalGirlGoldbugLophattJohn GleasonDr. Eowyn Recent comment authors
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Alma
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Alma

Not so, the study might indicate the reason but it my case my oncologist and I agreed that a contributing factor is stress because it alters the entire nervous system and the vulnerable immune system. I’ve been an early riser since I was 18 years old, btw, a looooong time ago.

John Gleason
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John Gleason

The Scientific Method has long been corrupted by ideology. Why even report these finding, unless you also report how the studies were done? What was the sample, any pre existing genetic conditions, how much coffee and how long were the participants followed, what scientific journals is this published in ? Could be published in “Batman Returns ” for anyone knows. This nonsense and you undermine the credibility of your site

Lophatt
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Lophatt

I wonder how they calculated that statistic?
“Women who slept longer than the recommended 7 to 8 hours a night had a 20% increased risk of breast cancer for each additional hour slept.”

Is that “20% less per hour” or “20% less over time”? That’s too much like “Fifty percent of drivers are women. If we did not allow women to drive there would be a 50% reduction in accidents”.

Like Samuel Clemens said “there are lies, damn lies and statistics”.

Goldbug
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Goldbug

Well, I’m a night owl; I listen to Red Eye Radio from 1:00 a.m. ’til I fall asleep, whenever that might be. I sleep 5-6 hours, or whenever I wake up. I’m 82, take no meds, have never been vaccinated, and I feel great .. but according to this, I am a “goner.” Most health statistics are either sales aids or fear porn.

CalGirl
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CalGirl

Cheers! to Goldbug! My Great-Aunt Nellie (our family “medical/ and pharmacology “expert,” handed down from her mother, after/ from an early—1719—Quaker “doctor” in our family….) used to say that today’s doctors would “kill her,” and they did, finally (long story about a hip replacement under LOCAL anesthesia in her 80’s). My great-grandmother (her mother) and she had a “6th sense” about diagnosing health problems and natural treatments for them. They gathered natural botanicals at certain times through the year to make medicines…cough syrups, anti-loose bowels, fever reducers, pain relievers, natural anti-biotics, etc etc…. I understand that these are not, for… Read more »