WHI study links sleep duration, quality to aggressive breast cancer

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  • In women diagnosed with breast cancer, poor sleep quality or short duration are associated with breast cancer aggressiveness.
  • Results vary by race/ethnicity.
Why this matters
  • The findings suggest that improving sleep duration and quality might be associated with less aggressive tumor characteristics.
Study design
  • Observational study of 4171 white women and 235 black women diagnosed with incident breast cancer in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI; 1994-2013).
  • Baseline sleep duration and quality were compared with tumor grade, stage, hormone receptor status, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status using logistic regression.
  • 3 measures of sleep quality were studied: very sound or restful sleep, average sleep, and restless or very restless sleep.
  • Funding: US National Institutes of Health.