Before I go any further, it's worth mentioning that this study hasn't been peer-reviewed yet - it has only been published as an extract and presented at an industry conference. That being said, it has such serious potential implications, I felt it was important to write about this now.
According to a study involving 2,102 men in Iceland, those who have sleep difficulties including insomnia are more likely to develop prostate cancer.
At the start of the study, 8.7% of participants reported severe problems falling asleep and staying asleep. 5.7% of participants classified their sleep difficulties as 'very severe'. After five years, 6.4% of participants were diagnosed with prostate cancer.
After adjusting for age, family history and other factors, it was determined that those with severe sleep problems were 70% more likely to develop prostate cancer. Those who described their sleep difficulties as very severe were more than twice as likely to develop prostate cancer compared to those who slept well.
Even more concerning, those with very severe sleep disruption were over three times more likely to develop advanced prostate cancer.
I'll report back if this study makes it to a peer-reviewed journal. In the meantime, remember that this study does not determine causality - sleep deprivation doesn't necessarily cause prostate cancer. At this stage, the study merely suggests an association between sleep problems and prostate cancer.
Source: MedPage Today
Last updated: October 3, 2013