If your man struggles to sleep, he could be increasing his risk of developing prostate cancer.  

Men who have difficulty falling and staying asleep have a twofold increase in risk for prostate cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

“Sleep problems are very common in modern society and can have adverse health consequences,” said Lara G. Sigurdardóttir, M.D., at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. “Women with sleep disruption have consistently been reported to be at an increased risk for breast cancer, but less is known about the potential role of sleep problems in prostate cancer.”

The study

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Researchers followed 2,102 men aged 67 to 96. Among the participants, 8.7% and 5.7% reported severe and very severe sleep problems, respectively. None of the participants had prostate cancer at study entry. The researchers followed the participants for five years, and during this period, 6.4 percent were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The findings

After the researchers adjusted for age, they found that, compared with men who reported no sleeping problems, the risk for prostate cancer increased proportionately with reported severity of problems falling and staying asleep, from 1.6-fold to 2.1-fold. 

They also found that the association was stronger for advanced prostate cancer than for overall prostate cancer, with more than a 3-fold increase in risk for advanced prostate cancer associated with “very severe” sleep problems.

“Prostate cancer is one of the leading public health concerns for men, and sleep problems are quite common,” Sigurdardóttir said. “If our results are confirmed with further studies, sleep may become a potential target for intervention to reduce the risk for prostate cancer.”

If you want to know how to help the man in your life get more shut-eye, read Tips to help with insomnia and restless sleep 

Source: American Association for Cancer Research via Eurekalert

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