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Insomnia linked to heart problems study

18-09-2009

New research has found that insomnia could be a contributory factor to heart disease and other cardiac complaints, it has been reported this week. The study, by the University of Montreal, looked at the blood pressure of insomnia sufferers and found higher levels during the night.

“Whereas blood pressure decreases in regular sleepers and gives their heart a rest, insomnia provokes higher night time blood pressure that can cause cardiovascular risks and damage the heart,” explained Dr. Paola Lanfranchi, lead author of the study.

It is thought that insomnia will affect around 48% of people to some degree throughout their life. The condition is a relatively unknown quantity in terms of consistent treatment, and the longevity of insomnia is also known to vary massively between patients. The likelihood of heart complaints arising in insomnia sufferers is heightened by the length of time over which the condition is experienced.

Earlier medical studies - including a major investigation by experts from Penn State College of Medicine - have linked insomnia to diabetes, underlining the cumulative negative effects of the sleep disorder.

The University of Montreal study was published in Associated Professional Sleep Societies’ ‘Sleep’ journal.

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