Sleep and exercise may play an important role in cancer risk, according to a new US study. Researchers confirmed earlier studies that exercise appears to protect against cancer—but discovered that physically active women who slept less than seven hours a night had a 47% higher risk of developing cancer. How sleep and disease are connected is unknown.
The Centers for Disease Control considers sleep loss an under-recognized public health problem, and experts have linked lack of sleep to diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart problems. "Getting adequate sleep has been long associated with health," said a spokesman from the National Cancer Institute. "We think it's intriguing. It isn't something that has been widely studied."