Insomnia increases risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 27 per cent

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Women had a slightly higher risk of cardiovascular and stroke events, but the difference did not reach statistical significance.

Insomnia is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, according to research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology .

The meta-analysis of 15 prospective cohort studies with a total of 160,867 participants, found that over a median follow-up of three to 29.6 years, there were 11,702 adverse events in the total study population. In participants who experienced difficulty initiating sleep. maintaining sleep, and non-restorative sleep, the risk of heart disease and stroke were increased by 27 per cent, 11 per cent, and 18 per cent, respectively, compared to those who did not experience these insomnia symptoms. There was no association between early-morning awakening and adverse events.

“Sleep is important for biological recovery and takes around a third of our lifetime, but in modern society more and more people complain of insomnia,” said first author Qiao He, from the China Medical University in Shenyang.

“Researchers have found associations between insomnia and poor health outcomes, but the links between insomnia and heart disease or stroke have been inconsistent,” she explained. She recommended that sleep health be included in clinical risk assessment.

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