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Chronic sleep disorders lead to an increased risk of stroke
The risk of a stroke is significantly increased by insomnia. In particular, younger adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely to have a stroke if they cannot find restful sleep at night, Taiwan researchers report in the American Heart Association's Stroke magazine. The risk of a stroke increased as a result of insomnia by up to 54 percent.
As part of their study, the Taiwanese scientists evaluated the randomly selected patient files of 21,000 patients with sleep disorders and 64,000 people without sleep disorders. The researchers at the Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science and the Institute for Medical Research at the Chi-Mei Medical Center in Taiwan found that insomnia, especially in young adults, leads to a drastic increase in the risk of stroke. In the evaluated observation period of four years, the “stroke incidence for 18 to 34 year olds with insomnia was eight times higher” than for the other test persons. However, this increased risk has decreased significantly over the age of 35. The probability of ending up in the hospital because of a stroke is increased by 54 percent in patients with insomnia.
Insomnia with an impact on cardiovascular health According to the researchers, the relationship between insomnia and strokes has not yet been fully clarified. But there is ample evidence that insomnia can affect cardiovascular health through systematic inflammation, impaired glucose tolerance, increased blood pressure, or sympathetic hyperactivity, study author Ya-Wen Hsu and colleagues report. In particular, younger people with chronic sleep disorders should ask their doctor for an assessment of stroke risk factors and, if necessary, be treated accordingly, the researchers recommend. "Our results underscore the clinical importance of screening for insomnia in younger age groups" and make it clear that "Treating insomnia, including through medication or cognitive therapy, is very important," added Ya-Wen Hsu.
Knowing the personal risk of stroke When evaluating the data, the scientists not only found a connection between chronic sleep disorders and the risk of stroke, but also discovered possible indications that accompanying diabetes leads to an additional increase in the risk. Those affected should know their individual risk and should not put aside insomnia as a harmless, if annoying, problem, the study author Hsu emphasized. Here a "medical evaluation is necessary, which also takes into account other possible risk factors that can also contribute to a stroke." (Fp)