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Male insomnia sufferers at higher risk

06-09-2010

Men who suffer from ‘chronic’ insomnia may be at risk of an earlier death than those who manage a regular six or more hours of sleep a night, according to the results of a major US study published this week.

The study, from Penn State University’s Sleep Research and Treatment Centre, focused on 741 men and 1000 women – average age fifty – between 1990 and 2007. The research team found that 6% of the men and 9% of the women had what could be described as chronic insomnia. When checking back on the health of the participants in 2007, 51.1% of the male chronic insomnia sufferers had died, compared to just 9.1% of the male ‘normal’ sleepers. The rate of early death was not replicated in the female participants, with around 2% of both chronic insomniac and normal sleepers dying in the interim period.

The findings show that male sufferers of the disorder are a massive four times more likely to die early, underlining the serious effects of insomnia. While the condition itself of course isn’t a terminal disease, it is known to have a direct link to a wide range of serious health problems, including cardiovascular issues and obesity, as well as the host of negative side effects that sleep deprivation can bring.

The results of the study were published in the September issue of the journal SLEEP.

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