Are your sleeping habits putting you at risk for stroke? Find out now!
A study reveals that the amount of sleep, snoring and sleep apnea are linked to a higher risk of stroke.
A new study in neurology finds an association between sleep problems and an increased risk of stroke. The researchers highlight the importance of treating sleep problems for stroke prevention and call for further research into sleep-related interventions.
According to a study published in the April 5, 2023 online issue of Neurologythe medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Sleep problems included getting too much or too little sleep, taking long naps, having poor quality sleep, snoring, snorting, and sleep apnea. Additionally, those who had five or more of these symptoms had an even higher risk of stroke. The study does not show that sleep problems cause strokes. It shows only one association.
“Not only do our results suggest that individual sleep problems may increase stroke risk, but having more than five of these symptoms may lead to a five times greater risk of stroke compared to those without any sleep problems. “, said the author of the study. Christine McCarthy, MB, BCh, BAO, from the University of Galway in Ireland. “Our results suggest that sleep problems should be a priority area for stroke prevention.”
The international study involved 4,496 people, including 2,243 people with stroke who were matched to 2,253 people without stroke. The average age of the participants was 62 years old.
Participants were asked about their sleep behaviors, including number of hours slept, sleep quality, naps, snoring, sniffling, and breathing problems while asleep.
People who slept too many or too few hours were more likely to have a stroke than people who slept an average number of hours. A total of 162 of those who had a stroke slept less than five hours, compared to 43 of those who did not have a stroke. And 151 of those who had a stroke slept more than nine hours a night, compared to 84 of those who did not have a stroke.
The researchers found that people who slept less than five hours were three times more likely to have a stroke than those who slept for an average of seven hours. People who slept more than nine hours were more than twice as likely to have a stroke as those who slept seven hours a night.
People who took naps longer than an hour were 88% more likely to have a stroke than those who didn’t.
The researchers also looked at breathing problems during sleep, including snoring, snorting and sleep apnea. People who snored were 91% more likely to have a stroke than those who didn’t, and people who snored were nearly three times more likely to have a stroke than those who didn’t. People with sleep apnea were nearly three times more likely to have a stroke than those without.
After extensive adjustments for other factors that may affect stroke risk, such as smoking, physical activity, depression and alcohol consumption, the results remained similar.
“With these findings, doctors could have earlier conversations with people who have sleep issues,” McCarthy said. “Interventions to improve sleep may also reduce the risk of stroke and should be the subject of future research.”
A limitation of the study was that people reported their own symptoms of sleep problems, so the information may not have been accurate.
Reference: “Sleep Patterns and the Risk of Acute Stroke: Results from the INTERSTROKE International Case-Control Study” by Christine Eileen Mc Carthy, Salim Yusuf, Conor Judge, Alberto Alvarez-Iglesias, Graeme J. Hankey, Shahram Oveisgharan, Albertino Damasceno, Helle Klingenberg Iversen, Annika Rosengren, Alvaroavezum, Patricio Lopez-Jaramillo, Denis Xavier, Xingyu Wang, Sumathy Rangarajan and Martin O’Donnell, April 5, 2013, Neurology.
The study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Canadian Stroke Network, Swedish Research Council, Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation, the Health and Medical Care Committee of the Regional Executive Council, Region Västra Götaland, Astra Zeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada), Pfizer (Canada), Merck, Sharp and Dohme, UK Chest and UK Heart and Stroke.
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