Sleep disturbance and incidence of thyroid cancer in postmenopausal women the Women's Health Initiative

Juhua Luo, Megan Sands, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Yiqing Song, Karen L. Margolis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sleep disturbance has been found to be associated with numerous adverse health outcomes, including cancers. However, no epidemiologic study has examined the relation between sleep disturbance and thyroid cancer risk. A total of 142,933 postmenopausal women who were 50-79 years of age and enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative between September 1, 1993, and December 31, 1998, were followed up for a mean of 11 years. Cox proportional-hazard regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for sleep disturbance (insomnia and sleep duration) and risk of thyroid cancer. Insomnia score was measured using a validated 5-item Women's Health Initiative Insomnia Rating Scale. Overall, a total of 295 thyroid cancer cases were identified. After adjustment for potential confounders, women with greater insomnia scores had a significantly higher risk of thyroid cancer than did women with low scores (hazard ratio = 1.44, 95% confidence interval: 1.01, 2.05). The significant association between insomnia score and thyroid cancer was confined to nonobese women (hazard ratio = 1.71, 95% confidence interval: 1.12, 2.62) and was not seen in obese women (hazard ratio = 0.94 95% confidence interval: 0.48, 1.84) (P for interaction = 0.07). In conclusion, postmenopausal women with greater insomnia scores, especially nonobese women, had a significantly increased risk of thyroid cancer. More studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume177
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • insomnia
  • risk factors
  • sleep disorder
  • sleep disturbance
  • thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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