Sleep and the Prostate

A new study may link sleep issues to prostate cancer.
Sleep Problems Linked to Prostate Cancer

A study of 2,102 men suggests that men who suffer from sleep problems have a significantly increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

Lara G. Sigurdardóttir, M.D., of the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, and colleagues questioned participants if they took medications to sleep, had trouble falling asleep, woke up during nights with difficulty going back to sleep, or woke up early in the morning with difficulty going back to sleep. At the start of the study, 8.7% of the participants reported severe sleep problems and 5.7% reported very severe sleep problems – none of the participants had prostate cancer. The researchers then followed the participants for 5-years, during which 6.4% of participants were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Analysis revealed that the risk for prostate cancer increased proportionately with reported severity of problems falling and staying asleep, with men with the most severe sleep problems being more than twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as men who reported no sleep problems.

Furthermore, the association between advanced prostate cancer and sleep problems was even stronger, with men who reported “very severe” sleep problems having more than a threefold increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. “Sleep problems are very common in modern society and can have adverse health consequences,” said Dr Sigurdardóttir. “If our results are confirmed with further studies, sleep may become a potential target for intervention to reduce the risk for prostate cancer.”

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