Women chirpiest in the morning less likely to develop breast cancer


Women who are considered morning people are less likely to develop breast cancer than those who have more energy in the evenings, according to researchers.

Research involving more than 400,000 women found "larks" have a breast cancer risk up to 48 per cent lower than "night owls". The research also suggested that for women who slept longer than the recommended seven to eight hours per night, the risk of being diagnosed increased by 20 per cent per additional hour slept.

"We also found some evidence for a causal effect of increased sleep duration and sleep fragmentation on breast cancer, assessed using objective measurements of sleep obtained from movement monitors worn by around 85,000 UK Biobank participants".

The research - which was presented Tuesday at the National Cancer Research Institute Conference in Glasgow - adds to previous findings suggesting women who work night shifts or sleep in brighter environments have a higher risk of developing cancer.

Results from 228,951 women enrolled in an worldwide genetic study conducted by the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) were also included in the analysis.

It said in a statement that the breast cancer awareness week was observed around the world in the month of October, as an annual global campaign organised by major breast cancer charities to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

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The team concluded that the study shows consistent evidence for a protective effect of morning preference, and suggestive evidence for an adverse effect of sleep duration on breast cancer risk. About 5 per cent of women with breast cancer have inherited a gene linked to the condition. "These findings have potential policy implications for influencing sleep habits of the general population in order to improve health and reduce the risk of breast cancer among women".

AXA Mansard, a member of AXA, a global leader in insurance and asset management, said it joined in the observance of the concluded breast cancer awareness.

Take our quiz to find out whether you are a morning type, or an evening owl.

"We know already that night shift work is associated with worse mental and physical health". Men and women of all ages are encouraged to check themselves for breast cancer as it can affect anyone.

Because these bits of DNA are set at birth and are not linked to other known causes of cancer, like obesity, it means the researchers are reasonably confident body clocks are involved in cancer.