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Individuals who have difficulty sleeping may benefit from colorectal cancer testing, as new research from Case Western Reserve University has found that those who sleep less than six hours per night are 50 percent more likely to develop the disease.
A lack of sleep has already been connected to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and death. The new findings are the latest in a long line indicating that getting plenty of sleep is vital to long-term health.
For the study, the researchers surveyed more than 1,200 patients who were about to receive colorectal cancer testing about their sleep habits. The scientists then tracked the patients' medical records for several years.
They found that patients who reported sleeping less than six hours per night were 50 percent more likely to develop colon cancer than those who reported sleeping more than seven hours each night. The association remained even after the researchers adjusted the findings for family history and other lifestyle factors.
The researchers called short sleep duration a public health hazard, and recommended that efforts be led to educate more people about this potentially serious problem.
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