Insomnia linked with higher risk of asthma

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Patients with chronic insomnia have three times the risk of developing asthma.

Patients who have problems initiating sleep, wake up too early without being able to go back to sleep, and who report non-restorative sleep, may be at higher risk of developing asthma, according to a new study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Using data from 17,927 participants in the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT), an ongoing health survey of the adult population of the county of Nord-Trøndelag in Norway, scientists identified  that participants reporting difficulty falling asleep “often” or “almost every night” during the last month had a 65 per cent and 108 per cent increased risk of developing asthma over the following 11 years, respectively.

Those who reported waking too early without being able to go back to sleep “often” or “almost every night” had a 92 per cent and 36 per cent increased risk of developing asthma, while those who reported poor quality sleep more than once a week, had a 94 per cent increased risk of developing asthma.

Sleep researcher and co-author, Dr Linn Beate Strand said: “As insomnia is a manageable condition, an increased focus on the adverse health effects of insomnia could be helpful in the prevention of asthma. Further prospective studies are required to confirm the findings of our study.”

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