Quality sleep and Cancer Risk: Good Sleep Associated with Lower Cancer Rates

Two new studies link breathing problems with higher cancer rates and increased mortality.

Due to be presented in San Francisco this week at an American Thoracic Society conference, the findings underscore a major position of iSleep® for many years: disrupted breathing is linked to low blood oxygen levels. That lack of oxygen can trigger the development of tumors.

Sleep apnea is widely understood to be related to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes — conditions that are also linked to cancer.

One study, conducted at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health over 22 years, found that severe breathing problems at night increase the likelihood of dying from cancer by 4.8 times, compared to people who breathe well at night. People with moderate apnea were found to have double the risk of dying.

The second set of findings, from the Spanish Sleep Network, assessed the incidence of cancer, rather than the mortality rate.

Following 5,200 people over seven years, the study tracked oxygen depletion and found, for example, that people whose oxygen levels dipped during sleep, had a 68 percent greater chance of developing cancer, than people who did breathe well at night.

Dr. Nieto will presented his study May 20 at the American Thoracic Society 2012 International Conference in San Francisco. It will be published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.