Certain aspects of sleep disruption may confer an increased risk of prostate cancer (PCa), researchers reported in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention (2013;22:872-879).

Lara G. Sigurdardottir, MD, of the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, and colleagues made the discovery when they analyzed data from 2,102 men participating in the prospective AGES-Reykjavik cohort study. The men, recruited from 2002 to 2006 and followed until the end of 2009, supplied information on their sleep-disruption patterns.

During follow-up, 135 (6.4%) received a PCa diagnosis. Men who reported problems falling and staying asleep had a significantly greater PCa risk than did those who did not report sleep problems. The risk was increased 1.6-fold to 2.1-fold, depending on the severity of reported sleep problems.

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These associations were even stronger for advanced PCa compared with overall PCa, reflecting more than a threefold increase in risk for advanced PCa associated with sleep problems categorized as “very severe.”