Less than 6 hours of sleep ups risk of stroke
Habitually sleeping less than six hours a night significantly increases the risk of stroke symptoms among normal-weighing middle-age to older adults, a new study has warned.
The study was conducted on 5,666 people followed for up to three years.
The participants had no history of stroke, transient ischemic attack, stroke symptoms or high risk for OSA at the start of the research.
Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham recorded the first stroke symptoms, along with demographic data, stroke risk factors, depression symptoms and various health behaviors.
After adjusting for body-mass index (BMI), they discovered a strong association with daily sleep periods of less than six hours and a greater incidence of stroke symptoms for middle-age to older adults, even beyond other risk factors.
However, the study found no link between short sleep periods and stroke symptoms among overweight and obese participants.
“In employed middle-aged to older adults, relatively free of major risk factors for stroke such as obesity and sleep-disordered breathing, short sleep duration may exact its own negative influence on stroke development,” lead author Megan Ruiter, PhD said.
“We speculate that short sleep duration is a precursor to other traditional stroke risk factors, and once these traditional stroke risk factors are present, then perhaps they become stronger risk factors than sleep duration,” Ruiter said.
She claimed that further research may support the results, providing a strong argument for increasing physician and public awareness of the impact of sleep as a risk factor for stroke symptoms, especially among persons who appear to have few or no traditional risk factors for stroke.
“Sleep and sleep-related behaviors are highly modifiable with cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches and/or pharmaceutical interventions,” she said.
“These results may serve as a preliminary basis for using sleep treatments to prevent the development of stroke,” she added.
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