Modern life involves mistimed sleeping and eating patterns that in experimental studies are associated with adverse health effects. We assessed whether timing of meals is associated with breast and prostate cancer risk taking into account lifestyle and chronotype, a characteristic correlating with preference for morning or evening activity. We conducted a population-based case-control study in Spain, 2008-2013. In this analysis we included 621 cases of prostate and 1,205 of breast cancer and 872 male and 1,321 female population controls who had never worked night shift. Subjects were interviewed on timing of meals, sleep and chronotype and completed a Food Frequency Questionaire. Adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute of Cancer Research recommendations for cancer prevention was examined. Compared with subjects sleeping immediately after supper, those sleeping two or more hours after supper had a 20% reduction in cancer risk for breast and prostate cancer combined (adjusted Odds Ratio [OR] = 0.80, 95%CI 0.67-0.96) and in each cancer individually (prostate cancer OR = 0.74, 0.55-0.99; breast cancer OR = 0.84, 0.67-1.06). A similar protection was observed in subjects having supper before 9 pm compared with supper after 10 pm. The effect of longer supper-sleep interval was more pronounced among subjects adhering to cancer prevention recommendations (OR both cancers= 0.65, 0.44-0.97) and in morning types (OR both cancers = 0.66, 0.49-0.90). Adherence to diurnal eating patterns and specifically a long interval between last meal and sleep are associated with a lower cancer risk, stressing the importance of evaluating timing in studies on diet and cancer.
Keywords: breast cancer; circadian disruption; diet; prostate cancer.
© 2018 The Authors. International Journal of Cancer published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Union for International Cancer Control.