New Study Shows Link Between Cardiovascular Disease, Stroke, And Insomnia

A new American Heart Association study says that insomnia is related to an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, and coronary artery disease. The journal Circulation has published this report which stamps further on previous observational studies that suggest that insomnia is either a cause or shares another link with heart disease and stroke.

What Did This Study Reveal?

This new research used Mendelian randomization to look at the association. This technique makes use of genetic variants which are connected to potential risks, in this case insomnia, to find results. Researchers collected the data of 1.3 million participants from major studies and groups for this research. These individuals either were or weren’t heart disease and stroke patients.

Scientists found that the genetic variants for insomnia were related to higher risk of coronary artery disease, heart failure, and ischemic stroke. The risk of large artery stroke was higher. However, scientists couldn’t find a relation to higher risk of atrial fibrillation. Lead author of the study, Susanna Larsson said, “It’s important to identify the underlying reason for insomnia and treat it.” She further added, “Sleep is a behavior that can be changed by new habits and stress management.”

Limitations Of The Study

Though the study was conducted on a large number of participants, it did have a limitation. The research work represented a genetic variant link to the sleep disorder. It didn’t show the link that the diseases had to insomnia itself. The lead researcher of the study said that it isn’t possible to look at if or not people who had cardiovascular disease had insomnia as well.

Sleep And Your Heart Health

People who are sleep deprived regularly are at a higher risk for heart disease regardless of whether or not they smoke, exercise or weight too much. This is because lack of sleep can elevate blood pressure markers which raises the odds of cardiovascular problems. Apart from heart disease and hypertension, epidemiological studies show a relationship between sleep loss and diabetes too.

One study even showed that adolescents who didn’t get enough sleep were at a higher risk for cardiovascular problems. This proved that it is not only older adults who need to be mindful of their sleep schedule. Sleep deprivation and obesity also share a link. And obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular problems and stroke.

Unfortunately, one in four individuals in the United States suffer from insomnia each year which refers to a habitual inability to sleep. Therefore, it is crucial to get the recommended number of hours of sleep which are seven to nine. For this, you can stick to good sleep hygiene and follow a strict sleep routine. Because if you do miss sleep, there’s no such thing as catching up on it.

Key Takeaway

AHA’s new report says that insomnia and coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure are associated. Previous studies have also found a link between lack of sleep and health concerns such as hypertension and heart-related issues. Hence, it is of utmost importance to not miss out on catching zzz.