Bad Habit Study finds sleeping pills greatly increases the chance of developing lung cancer

It was revealed that those regularly using sleeping pills at least twice a week were nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to develop cancer of the airways than non-users.

  • Published:
play (Guardian)
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New research has shown that sleeping tablet could increase the risk of lung cancer.

According to the study, taking the drugs on a regular basis is linked to a higher rate of deadly tumours adding that nearly 30,000 people revealed they raise the risk of cancerous growths in the mouth, nose and windpipe.

Furthermore, those regularly using sleeping pills at least twice a week were nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to develop cancer of the airways than non-users.

Moreso, in those using the drugs for three years or more the risk appeared to treble.

The 20-year study, involving scientists from Norway, Finland and the United Kingdom (UK), is thought to be the largest yet to highlight the cancer risk from using medicinal sleep aids.

A team led by scientists at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health analysed the records of thousands of public sector employees.

Each was regularly quizzed on lifestyle topics, including sleeping patterns and the use of all types of sleeping pills, and followed up over nearly 20 years.

The results showed only a slight increase in the risk of all types of cancer if sleep drugs were used regularly.

Also, sleeping pills were linked to a higher number of infections, which may allow cancer cells to flourish, they however stressed the results may also have been affected by smoking rates.

The research does not prove the popular pills, called benzodiazepines and ‘z-hypnotic drugs’, are carcinogenic, they however warned "further research is urgently needed to determine whether current sleep medications increase cancer risk.”

 

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