The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Health and Fitness

November 27, 2012

Insomnia doubles risk of heart attack, stroke, research shows



They found that over four years, there were 424 heart attacks and 3,307 strokes. Those in the insomnia group were 2.3 times more likely to have a heart attack and 1.99 times more likely to have a stroke than those who didn't suffer from the sleep disorder, the authors said.

Few studies have looked at the relationship between insomnia and heart events in Asian populations, Chien-Yi Hsu, the study's lead researcher, said in a Nov. 3 email. Based on the results, doctors should add sleep disturbances to the list of modifiable factors that may help prevent heart disease, including high blood pressure, smoking, obesity and diet, he said.

"Doctors should pay more attention to their patient's insomnia symptoms, and consider using different methods to improve sleep, including medical, psychological or behavioral therapy, which might improve subject quality of life and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease," said Hsu, a doctor in the Division of Cardiology at Taipei Veterans General Hospital.

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