Wednesday , October 5 2022

Early birds have a lower risk of breast cancer? What you need to know


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Mary Chris Jaklevic is a correspondent editor at She's tweets like @mcjaklevic.

early birds and breast cancer

Wake up when she's over

There was a lot of misleading information in news stories this week about a study of the characteristics of sleeping and the risk of breast cancer. It was a complicated study to disqualify, but instead, we had simple headlines like this by HealthDay: "Birds are Early Infant Cancer Risk".

He said that story: "When compared to owls, women with early breeders have a risk of 40 per cent of breast cancer, I discovered the study."

Forty percent lower risk? No, not really. Despite what readers could collect from this story and others, this research was done not Proofing that early lifting reduces the risk of a female breast cancer.

Furthermore, it did not even show a connection between early risk raising and reducing the risk of breast cancer.

Research did not look after women slept

What HealthDay did not make clear to readers is that researchers did not really look at whether women were getting up early or going to bed late. Instead, they analyze data from two databases covering around 400,000 women. Female self-reporting responses were examined when asked on the scale between being a "morning person" and being a "night person" as well as genetic fluctuations associated with sleeping options.

HealthDay did not also provide real numbers to indicate how much difference could "40 per cent lower risk" represent – or how sleeping options could be compared to established risk factors for breast cancer. For more information on why it's important to include real numbers, see our first at absolute risk of compared to each other.

He said the story "women who slept older than seven hours to eight hours per night had an increasing risk of 20 per cent of breast cancer for every additional hour." That data is also a problem because it is based on the self-reporting of women as long as they sleep. He did not explain the story about how that data was collected.

In credit, HealthDay explained that the study "was not a cause-effective relationship between sleep patterns and breast cancer risk" and quoted a researcher who said "may not happen that changing your habits will change your risk of breast cancer . "

But those caveats appeared several paragraphs in the story, where readers would not notice them. In addition, the story included other quotes that were less careful and appearing contrary to each other, as one referring to a "protective effect" of choosing a morning sleep.

CNN explores caveats better

A story on this research also ran in BBC News, CNN, and the USA Today. They all seemed to take a break of misleading news release of the name "Women who have a lower risk of developing breast cancer".

BBC News was the only one of the four looked at which provided absolute data. He wrote that the study "looked only at a small, eight-year-old picture of a woman's life," during that time ", two in 100 owls showed breast cancer compared to one in 100 or ledl. "

CNN was the most complete job of explaining the evidence. He mentioned disorders lost by other stories:

  • It is not clear whether the findings can be applied across populations because the analysis has restricted women of European dysfunction.
  • Sleeping routines may not be as significant as the risk factors of established breast cancer, such as body mass index or alcohol use.
  • There is no known reason why he would prefer to raise early in preventing breast cancer.

Research method of the name Mendelian hacking was mentioned in each of the stories except HealthDay. CNN only discussed his restrictions, quoting a researcher who said, "The statistical method used in this study, known as the Mendelian speculation, does not always allow for delays."

As the BMJ premium explains, the "method" depends on assumptions, and the ease of these assumptions must be assessed, and the relevance of the results for decisions should be interpreted clinical in the light of other sources of evidence. "

Therefore, although we can expect to hear a lot more about this method as it is used to study the role of genetic fluctuations in health outcomes, it still describes the public that there is a case-and- effect has to set up unambiguous.

Unpublished study that has not been reviewed by peers

All the stories noted that the study was not in a peer-reviewed journal; A summary was presented at a medical conference.

This fact that this research has not published is one other reason why the data can not be reliably considered. Often, the authenticity and importance of unpublished research has not yet been established, as our first one on news from scientific meetings explains.

So, as long as this report goes, sleep tightly – whenever you are.

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