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Sleep duration associated with higher colorectal cancer risk
Date:4/30/2013

er, the general recommendation is that most adults should get about seven to eight hours of nightly sleep.

The authors suggest that the association between the self-reported long sleep duration and incident colorectal cancer may be explained by obstructive sleep apnea, which involves repetitive episodes of complete or partial upper airway obstruction occurring during sleep despite an ongoing effort to breathe. The major predisposing factor for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is excess body weight, and loud snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea.

According to the authors, sleep disruption caused by OSA may reduce sleep quality and increase sleepiness, resulting in longer reported sleep durations. Furthermore, intermittent hypoxemia similar to that which occurs in OSA has been shown in animal models to promote tumor growth.

"Future studies should focus on different populations and evaluate to see whether sleep duration and sleep quality is a novel risk factor for colorectal cancer and to understand the mechanisms behind this association," said Zhang.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women combined in the U.S.


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Contact: Lynn Celmer
lcelmer@aasmnet.org
630-737-9700
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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