How Long You Usually Wear A Bra

Evaluating Risk Factors: Extended Bra Wearing

Evaluating your likely current (and near future) state of health means taking into account the risk factors — such as how long you usually wear a bra — that affect you.   Our medical diagnosis tool, The Analyst™, identifies major risk factors by asking the right questions.

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In the Female-Specific Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about how long you usually wear a bra:
On an average day, for how long do you wear a bra?
Possible responses:
→ Prefer not to say / don't know
→ Never / very rarely
→ Less than 10 hours per day
→ 10 to 16 hours per day
→ Over 16 hours per day (I sleep with it on)

The Diagnostic Process

Based on your response to this question, which may indicate not wearing a bra, bra wearing or extended bra wearing, The Analyst™ will use differential diagnosis to consider possibilities such as Breast Cancer.  A book published in 1995, "Dressed to Kill" by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer appeared to show that, based on interviews with 4,730 women, the more hours each day that a woman wears a bra, the higher her risk of developing breast cancer.  "The overall increase found between 24-hour wearing and not wearing at all was 125-fold."  The mechanism behind this increased risk was said to be the restricted flow of lymph fluid, which removes toxins from breast tissue, due to less breast movement and constriction caused by tight-fitting bras.

Previously, a 1991 Harvard study [Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology 27(2): pp131-135] found that premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users.

A 2009 Chinese study [Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao 29(7): pp1451-3] found that not sleeping in a bra lowered breast cancer risk by 60%.

A 2014 study of some 1,900 women, funded by the US National Cancer Institute and published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, however, appeared to show no increased risk at all from wearing bras among postmenopausal women, no matter how long they are worn.

It would appear that more research using a larger sample size is needed.  Meanwhile, minimizing bra use – especially when sleeping – would seem to be the safest approach to reducing risk.
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