TUESDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Sleep problems may increase
men's risk for prostate cancer, a new study suggests.
"Prostate cancer is one of the leading public health concerns
for men, and sleep problems are quite common," said study author
Dr. Lara Sigurdardottir, of the University of Iceland in Reykjavik.
"If our results are confirmed with further studies, sleep may
become a potential target for intervention to reduce the risk for
Her study included about 2,100 men, aged 67 to 96, in Iceland.
They were asked if they took medications to help them sleep, had
trouble falling asleep or woke up during nights or early in the
morning and had difficulty going back to sleep.
The researchers found that 14.4 percent of the men had severe or
very severe sleep problems.
None of the men had prostate cancer at the start of the study.
During five years of follow-up, 6.4 percent were diagnosed with
prostate cancer, according to the study, which was published May 7
in the journal
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
After adjusting for age, the researchers concluded that men with
sleep problems were 1.6 to 2.1 times more likely to develop
prostate cancer than those without sleep problems. Risk increased
with the severity of sleeping problems.
The association was stronger for advanced prostate cancer than
for overall prostate cancer. Those with very severe sleep problems
had a more than threefold increased risk of advanced prostate
cancer, the researchers found.
"Sleep problems are very common in modern society and can have
adverse health consequences," Sigurdardottir said in a journal news
release. "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
She said these findings need to be confirmed in a larger and
Although the study found a potential association between sleep
problems and prostate cancer, it did not prove a cause-and-effect
The American Cancer Society has more about