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Poor quality sleep may increase the risk of heart failure, according to the results of a new study in Europe. The study was carried out at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and involved data from over 50,000 people aged between 20 and 89 (all of whom had a healthy heart at the start of the research) over an eleven year period. It was found that those who suffered from regularly poor sleep were more likely to develop heart failure, in that their hearts were unable to pump blood around the body at the normal pressure.
In fact participants who reported bad sleep were three times more likely to suffer heart failure compared to those who slept well, even taking into account other issues such as smoking and obesity.
"We don't know whether insomnia truly causes heart failure. But if it does, the good thing is it is a potentially treatable condition,” said lead author of the study, Dr Laugsand. "When you have insomnia your body releases stress hormones which in turn may affect the heart in a negative way,"
It is not known whether lack of sleep was the cause of the condition, and experts have called for more in depth follow up research to be carried out.
The study findings were published in the European Heart Journal.
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