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Study Finds Insomnia Associated With Increased Risk of Stroke and Heart Attack

Study Finds Insomnia Associated With Increased Risk of Stroke and Heart Attack

Chronic insomnia can be caused by a number of things, including stress, work concerns, financial concerns, poor sleep habits, and eating too much late at night. According to a new study, insomnia may increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardio-cerebral vascular disease.

This was a large-scale study, with 487,200 participants who had an average age of 51.  None of them had a history of stroke or heart disease at the beginning of the study. Participants reported if they had the following three insomnia symptoms at least three times per week: trouble falling or staying asleep, waking up too early, or trouble focusing during the day. They were followed for an average of 9.6 years, and all cardio-cerebral vascular disease incidences were reported.

The researchers found that all three insomnia symptoms were associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardio-cerebral vascular disease. Trouble falling or staying asleep was associated with a 9% increased risk of stroke or heart attack. Waking up too early was associated with a 7% increased risk. Trouble staying focused during the day was associated with a 13% increased risk. Participants who had all three symptoms were 18% more likely to develop these diseases compared to participants who did not. These associations were strongest for younger adults and participants who did not have high blood pressure at the beginning of the study.

The study was conducted by researchers from the School of Public Health, Peking University. It was published online ahead of print on November 6, 2019 in the journal Neurology.
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