Male sleep habits may increase risk of cancer


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Industries have their scheduled timespan for laborers that they need to work. Labor’s work according to their shift. Shift work includes both long-term night shifts and work schedules in which employees change or rotate shifts. Although, in medical terms, night shift work is considered as risk factor for health problems.

Because it may increase the probability of developing cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, diabetes, and obesity, among other conditions. It also increases many sleep disorders like insomnia, excessive sleepiness, or both.

However, a new study suggests that men who work during night shifts have increased the risk of cancer. Their sleep habits, according to shift work, involve circadian disruption.

Scientists from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China, conducted this study. Scientists wanted to discover the independent and combined effects of three sleep habits on cancer incidence.

Those three sleep habits are night shift work, daytime napping, and nighttime sleep. They involved 27,000 volunteers who had worked night shifts for more than 20 years.

Via a questionnaire, they determined individuals who had a habit of taking daytime naps and when they usually went to sleep at night and woke up in the morning.

Scientists found that men who had worked night shifts had a 27% increased risk of cancer incidence. Additionally, the men who did not nap during the daytime had a double risk of cancer.

Moreover, the men who slept for more than 10 hours a day had an increased amount of cancer risk. However, such evidence is not found in women.

That means the male participants with at least two of these sleep habits had a 43% increased risk of cancer incidence and a two-fold increase in cancer mortality.

According to scientists, “Their conclusions may be limited by the self-reported lifestyle data, the ageing nature of the cohort and a relatively short-term follow-up period. They recommend that a longer-term study should follow up this initial study to verify their findings.”

Journal Reference

  1. Yansen Bai, Xiaoliang Li, Ke Wang, Shi Chen, Suhan Wang, Zhuowang Chen, Xiulong Wu, Wenshan Fu, Sheng Wei, Jing Yuan, Ping Yao, Xiaoping Miao, Xiaomin Zhang, Meian He, Handong Yang, Tangchun Wu & Huan Guo (2016) Association of shift-work, daytime napping, and nighttime sleep with cancer incidence and cancer-caused mortality in Dongfeng-tongji cohort study, Annals of Medicine, 48:8, 641-651, DOI: 10.1080/07853890.2016.1217037


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