Early risers have less breast cancer risk

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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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7 responses to “Early risers have less breast cancer risk

  1. 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.

    • Alma:

      That being an early riser reduces a woman’s risk of breast cancer doesn’t mean it’s a GUARANTEE against getting breast cancer.

  2. 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

    • You obviously did not even bother to read this post.
      You ask “how the studies were done”. It’s right there in my post:
      The British researchers used “two data banks on more than 409,000 women” and looked for correlations between sleeping patterns and breast cancer.

      Frankly, your comment indicates you are a careless reader, quick to judgment, verbally abusive, and just a nasty man.

  3. 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”.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 instance, cancer cures or something to aid a failing heart, etc….BUT…they are “warriors” against common human complaints that keep me from mingling with sick people and doctors in a big, germ-laden medical office or center, when I’m already sick to begin with……I, like you, some years behind you, still take NO MEDS, not even an aspirin, other than certain botanicals taught to me duing times of colds or stomach upset, etc….I sleep 5-6 hours, I work hard most days, enjoy a glass of wine before bed, eat a good breakfast, modest lunch, and don’t care if I eat much of a supper or not…maybe a few bites of some protein leftover….. I don’t really “snack” and if I do…it’s usually something like a 1-2 bite of a block of sharp cheese or a hard-boiled egg…..I pay passing notice to all these late “medical warnings and studies” but, try not to get hysterical about them. After all…one day, coffee is going to kill you, and the next day, it is a “must” for extending life …….. .according to these “studies.” I try to stay true to my basic background.


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