Insomnia link to heart failure
European Heart Journal (2013) doi:10.1093/eurheartj/eht019
Insomnia boosts risk of heart failure, according to study that enrolled 54,279 men and women age 20-89 years without the cardiovascular disease. Of these, 3.4 per cent reported difficulty falling asleep almost every night; 2.5 per cent had difficulty maintaining sleep almost every night; and 8.1 per cent experienced non-restorative sleep more than once a week. During a mean follow up of 11.3 years, 1,412 people developed heart failure.
After adjusting for other risk factors, the hazard ratios for heart failure were 0.96, 1.35 and 4.53 for people with one, two, and three insomnia symptoms respectively, compared with controls. People in whom insomnia influenced work were 31 per cent more likely to develop heart failure than those whose work was unaffected it.
Insomnia is 'frequent, easily recognisable, and potentially manageable', the authors comment. If further studies confirm the finding and demonstrate 'cause and effect' (e.g that insomnia activates stress responses undermining heart function), managing insomnia might aid cardiovascular prevention.
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