Breast cancer patients who snack at night are at higher risk of a recurrence of the disease than those who fast more than 13 hours, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine announced Thursday.
A study involving 2,413 non-diabetic breast cancer survivors between the ages of 27 and 70 found a 36 percent higher risk of cancer recurrence in those who went less than 13 hours without food overnight.
“Prolonging the overnight fasting interval may be a simple, non- pharmacological strategy for reducing a person’s risk of breast cancer recurrence and even other cancers,” said Catherine Marinac, a doctoral candidate at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and lead author of the study.
“Previous research has focused on what to eat for cancer prevention, but when we eat may also matter because it appears to affect metabolic health,” she said in a statement.
According to the study, fasting fewer hours per night was associated with higher levels of glycated hemoglobin — a measure of average blood sugar over a period of months — and getting less sleep.
Less sleep and increased levels of glycated hemoglobin have been associated with a heightened risk of breast cancer, according to the university.
The multi-institutional study was conducted between 1995 and 2007. Researchers said that 86 percent of the participants were non-Hispanic white, and 55 percent were college educated.
The study was published online today in the Journal of American Medical Association Oncology.
—City News Service
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