Russian researchers found that a poor nighttime sleep may double the risk of heart attack and may boost by up to four times the risk of stroke in men.
Men who repeatedly reported sleeping disorders had a risk of acute myocardial infarction 2 to 2.6 times higher than in males that weren’t struggling with poor sleep. Also, the former men’s risk of stroke was between 1.5 and 4 times higher.
Researchers assessed health risks for 657 male study participants with ages in the 25 to 64 year range and no diagnosis of heart attacks, stroke or diabetes.
The study participant’s sleeping behavior was evaluated in the 1990s through the ‘Jenkins Sleep Scale’, but their risk of heart attack and stroke was evaluated over the course of 14 years.
Scientists learned that 63 percent of men involved in the study who had experienced a heart attack had also reported sleeping disorders.
Valery Gafarov, lead author of the study and heart health expert at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, explained that his team found a link between sleep deprivation and high risk of stroke and heart attack.
Researchers also found that the risk nearly doubled in men due to their social status. Widowers, divorced men, those performing manual labor, and school dropouts had the highest chance of having a heart attack or stroke if they also experienced sleeping disorders.
“Sleep is not a trivial issue. In our study it was associated with double the risk of a heart attack and up to four times the risk of stroke,”
Dr. Gafarov explained.
The researcher also said that sleep deprivation should be considered a risk factor for heart disease along with unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity, and smoking. Study authors recommended that people who do not sleep 7 to 8 hours at night should go and see their GP as soon as possible.
Moreover, the National Sleep Foundation’s guidelines recommend 7-9 hours of nighttime sleep for people aged 18 to 64 and 7-8 hours for adults aged 65 or more.
Scientists also explained that about half of cases of deaths in the country are linked to a form of cardiovascular disease, while 80 percent of cardiovascular-related mortality is due to stroke or heart attack.
Gafarov even described cardiovascular disease as an “epidemic,” so authorities should take measures to prevent the disease by first reducing risk factors.
Furthermore, other studies had linked lack of sleep in general population with infertility, dementia, cognitive decline, and a high risk of obesity and diabetes.
Image Source: Travis Richardson