Insomnia Linked to Heart Attacks
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Insomnia Linked to Heart Attacks

A recent Norwegian study links insomnia to a higher risk of heart attacks.

A recent study showed that people with insomnia have more heart attacks than people without a sleep problem. I had already been linked to such health conditions as depression and anxiety, now this current study done in Norway, links insomnia to an increased risk of heart attacks. People in the study who suffered chronic insomnia had more heart attacks than those study participants who did not exhibit symptoms of insomnia. Those who exhibited more symptoms of insomnia had the greatest number of heart attacks.

According to Lars Erik Laugsand, MD, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, admits that more research needs to be done on the link between insomnia and heart attack risks. More research is needed to confirm this link in different populations. More research needs to be done to find out how the lack of sleep may affect the human heart. In an interview with Salynn Boyles of WebMD Health News, Dr. Laugsand stated, “If the association is confirmed, addressing sleep problems could prove to be an important intervention to lessen a heart-attack risk. Insomnia is quite common, and it is fairly easy to treat. People need to be aware of this potential connection.”

The Norwegian national health study/survey involved 50,000 Norwegian adults between 1995 and 1997. During the next 11 years, the studies follow-up period, 2,386 of the study participants suffered first heart attacks. After factoring in known heart-attack risk factors—age, hypertension, high cholesterol, and obesity—researchers concluded that those participants who have sleep problems suffered more heart attacks than those participants without sleep problems. The researchers discovered that.

  • People that had trouble falling asleep had a 45 percent greater risk of suffering a heart attack.
  • People who had trouble staying asleep were at a 30 percent greater risk of having a heart attack.
  • People who woke up feeling unrefreshed in the morning, more than once a week, was 27 percent more likely to have a heart attack.

National Sleep Foundation

in a recent poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) of Washington D.C., nearly two-thirds of the respondents (63 percent) stated that they at no time got enough sleep Forty-three percent of the respondents stated that they seldom got enough sleep or never had enough sleep on weeknights.

Edward A. Fisher, MD, PhD, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, told WebMD that “If insomnia really is associated with heart attack risk, understanding the underlying mechanism behind this could be very important, but it may not be easy.”

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Comments (8)

Oh great now people are going to lay awake more worrying about laying awake causing heart attacks.

Well composed health information.

Ah, I might be a candidate here. It great to know these findings so I will be able to prevent it. Thanks so much for this information.

You really scared me with this.

I'm also a candidate. I hope my coffee habits doesn't play a part in this. Thanks for sharing Jerry.

I think we as a nation don't take sleep seriously. It's an important part of taking care of ourselves. I suffer from insomnia off and on, but not all the time and I can tell when I haven't had a good night's sleep. If that happens night after night, of course it's going to affect our health. Just my opinion. ;)

Never knew it could be this serious.

Thanks for sharing this, Jerry. This is really vital information.

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