Insomnia increases risk of stroke in people under 50, says study

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According to the study, a person facing more symptoms of insomnia is likely to be at a higher risk of stroke especially if they are under the age of 50.

The study observed 31,000 people who had no history of stroke for the last nine years. Stroke risk is generally higher in older adults who have multiple health issues, noted the study.

After other factors which increase the risk of stroke were controlled, researchers observed that people with five to eight symptoms of insomnia had a 51 per cent increased risk of stroke in comparison to those that did not have insomnia, as per a statement on the study which was published in the journal Neurology.

Meanwhile, people who suffered one to four symptoms had a 16 per cent increased risk of stroke in comparison to people with zero symptoms of insomnia, the study discovered.

“There are many therapies that can help people improve the quality of their sleep, so determining which sleep problems lead to an increased risk of stroke may allow for earlier treatments or behavioural therapies for people who are having trouble sleeping and possibly reducing their risk of stroke later in life,” stated lead study author and epidemiologist Wendemi Sawadogo, who is also a researcher at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, in a statement.

Similar results found in another study

Another study which was published in April analysed data collected from 4,500 people and reached similar results for different types of sleep disorders.

As per the results, people sleeping less than five hours a night, which can be a symptom of insomnia, were three times more likely to suffer a stroke than those who regularly slept for seven hours of sleep, which is the minimum required sleeping hours recommended for adults by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Speaking to CNN, Dr Phyllis Zee, director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago said, “Poor sleep can impair the natural blood pressure dipping that occurs during night time sleep and contribute to hypertension — an important risk factor for stroke and cardiovascular disease.”

“In other population based research, similar relationships have been reported between poor sleep health and disorders such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia,” she stated.

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