The Relation Between Sleeping Pills and Cancer


A team of researchers at the Myongji Hospital have come up with the discovery that patients who are used to taking sleeping pills are at around 30 percent more risk of developing cancer instead of those following a healthy lifestyle.

The research team was led by Professor Kim Hong-bae belonging to the department of family medicine at the Myongji Hospital. The team went forward with analyzing as many as six sleep & cancer risks epidemiology studies that were conducted all across the globe for over 10 years.

The particular study analyzed over 1.8 million participants including both sleeping pill users and non-pill users. The study then combined the results of the occurrences of cancer in both the groups.

The results showed that patients who had the habit of taking sleeping pills were at a 29 percent more risk of developing cancer in comparison to those who did not take the sleeping pills.

As far as the type of cancer was concerned, esophageal cancer reflected the highest risk with an overall increase of 57 percent in response to the sleeping pills. Esophageal cancer was followed by kidney cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, and prostate cancer. Although the data obtained from the study did not reveal any statistical significance, the team of researchers also came up with the correlation between the increased risks of brain tumors and breast cancer for those who had the habit of taking sleeping pills.

With respect to the particular type of sleeping pills, the “Zolpidem” group of sleeping pills had reflected the increased risk of developing cancer by around 1.34 times. At the same time, the “benzodiazepine” group of the sleeping pills has raised the overall risk by around 1.15 times.

The relation between sleeping pills and cancer also tends to vary by race with the Europeans having an increased risk by around 13 percent, while the Asians are showing the increased risks by around 48 percent. This calls for the prevention of the risks of cancer by limiting the intake of sleeping pills.