Snorers may have higher risk of dying from cancer, study revealsMild snorers just 0.1 times more likely to die from cancer than those without the problemBut moderate snorers double the chances of cancer death while severe snorers increase the risk 4.8 times
07:49 GMT, 21 May 2012
Snorers may have a heightened risk of dying from cancer, a study claims.
Scientists have found that mild snorers are just 0.1 times more likely to die from cancer than those without the problem.
But moderate snorers doubled the chances of cancer death, while severe snorers increased the risk 4.8 times.
Worrying: Snorers may have a heightened risk of dying from cancer, a study claims
The findings were based on data from sleep studies carried out on 1,522 people over 22 years.
Previous laboratory tests on mice have shown that oxygen starvation – which can be caused by snoring – promotes tumour growth.
Dr Javier Nieto, who led the new study at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said: ‘The consistency of the evidence from the animal experiments and this new evidence in humans is highly compelling.
‘Ours is the first study to show an association between sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and an elevated risk of cancer mortality in a population-based sample.
‘If the relationship between SDB and cancer mortality is validated in further studies, the diagnosis and treatment of SDB in patients with cancer might be indicated to prolong survival.’
Research: Previous laboratory tests on mice have shown that oxygen starvation – which can be caused by snoring – promotes tumour growth
The findings were presented at the American Thoracic Society international conference in San Francisco. They will also appear in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The scientists made adjustments to take account of factors including smoking, age, sex and weight.
One surprising discovery was that the association was stronger for non-obese patients.
This echoed findings in mice which showed that the effects of oxygen starvation on cancer growth was significantly more pronounced in lean animals.