Morning People '40% Less Likely To Develop Breast Cancer' Than Night Owls

Lina Al Maeena with Jeddah United

Led by Dr Rebecca Richmond at the University of Bristol, UK, along with the University of Manchester, the University of Exeter, and United States and Norwegian researchers, the large-scale study looked at data from taken from 409,166 women to investigate how a person's preference for mornings or evenings as well as their sleep habits may contribute to the development of breast cancer.

Dr Rebecca Richmond, a research fellow in the Cancer Research UK Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Programme and the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol and colleagues looked at data from 180,215 women enrolled with the UK Biobank project, and 228,951 women who had been part of a genome-wide association study of breast cancer conducted by the worldwide Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), which has the largest collection of genetic data on women with breast cancer obtained so far.

Around one in seven women in the United Kingdom will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

Dr. Rebecca Richmond, a research fellow in the Cancer Research UK Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Program and the Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol, said in a presentation about the study reported by CNN: "We know that sleep is important generally for health".

"More work is needed to understand why sleep characteristics may be linked to breast cancer risk".

But the team point out that many factors are involved in a person developing breast cancer and that these numbers are not an absolute risk.

The consortium has the largest collection of genetic data on women with breast cancer obtained so far. Using genetic variants reduces the effect of confounding or reverse causation, making the technique more reliable than other observational methods.

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Careem, one of the region's leading technology organisations, launched a breast cancer awareness campaign in partnership with the Qatar Cancer Society (QCS) last October.

There is good news if you are a morning person.

She said policy-makers and employers should take note of the research.

Similar studies have revealed a role for sleep preferences and mental health, including schizophrenia risk.

Researchers from the University of Bristol have analysed the link between sleeping patterns and breast cancer in women. Men and women of all ages are encouraged to check themselves for breast cancer as it can affect anyone.

The findings were presented at the 2018 NCRI (National Cancer Research Institute) conference in Glasgow.

However, cancer experts say modifying your sleep patterns probably won't have a significant impact on your cancer risk.

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