Social Jetlag and Prostate Cancer Incidence in Alberta's Tomorrow Project: A Prospective Cohort Study

Cancers (Basel). 2020 Dec 21;12(12):3873. doi: 10.3390/cancers12123873.


We investigated the association of social jetlag (misalignment between the internal clock and socially required timing of activities) and prostate cancer incidence in a prospective cohort in Alberta, Canada. Data were collected from 7455 cancer-free men aged 35-69 years enrolled in Alberta's Tomorrow Project (ATP) from 2001-2007. In the 2008 survey, participants reported usual bed- and wake-times on weekdays and weekend days. Social jetlag was defined as the absolute difference in waking time between weekday and weekend days, and was categorized into three groups: 0-<1 h (from 0 to anything smaller than 1), 1-<2 h (from 1 to anything smaller than 2), and 2+ h. ATP facilitated data linkage with the Alberta Cancer Registry in June 2018 to determine incident prostate cancer cases (n = 250). Hazard ratios (HR) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regressions, adjusting for a range of covariates. Median follow-up was 9.57 years, yielding 68,499 person-years. Baseline presence of social jetlag of 1-<2 h (HR = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.10 to 2.01), and 2+ hours (HR = 1.69, 95% CI: 1.15 to 2.46) were associated with increased prostate cancer risk vs. those reporting no social jetlag (p for trend = 0.004). These associations remained after adjusting for sleep duration (p for trend = 0.006). With respect to chronotype, the association between social jetlag and prostate cancer risk remained significant in men with early chronotypes (p for trend = 0.003) but attenuated to null in men with intermediate (p for trend = 0.150) or late chronotype (p for trend = 0.381). Our findings suggest that greater than one hour of habitual social jetlag is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Longitudinal studies with repeated measures of social jetlag and large samples with sufficient advanced prostate cancer cases are needed to confirm these findings.

Keywords: circadian disruption; prostate cancer incidence; social jetlag.