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Risk behind sleeping disorder

A new study reveals that too much or too little sleep increases the risk of certain type of cardiovascular disease, especially in women and elderly people. Sleeping for less than four hours and more than eight hours a night increases the chances for certain types of coronary heart disease. The risk of such type of heart attack and unstable angina pectoris is high in women and elderly people.

Doctors monitored 392,164 adults who came for health check up between 1998 and 2011 in Taiwan. The doctors asked how long they usually slept at night.  During the follow-up period, 711 of the participants died of cardiovascular disease.

Mr. Linn Beate Strand from Norwegian University of Science and Technology said, “This is the single largest study that has looked at how sleep duration affects the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Our results show that enough, but not too much sleep is important for a healthy lifestyle.”

According to the study, the risk increased 50 per cent for participants who  slept fewer than four hours compared with participants who slept between six and eight hours.  But even after adjusting these factors, the heart disease risk increased 36 per cent.
Lack of sleep increases heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline secretion. All these are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Sleep deprivation is also associated with the secretion of inflammatory substances. The previous study showed that short sleep duration decreased insulin sensitivity, obesity and diabetes.

The study says participants who reported that they slept for more than eight hours a night also had a 53 per cent increased risk of dying from coronary heart  disease compared to the participants who slept between six and eight hours per night. The risk of both short and long sleep duration mostly affected women. The risk from cardiovascular disease was slightly stronger at 65 years of age and older, than in younger individuals. These findings were published in the International Journal of Cardiology.

Strand said, “Women are more prone to sleep problems than men, and previous studies have also shown that women who sleep a little or a lot may be at increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.”