According to the European Heart Journal, a study conducted on 54,000 Norwegians over 11 years revealed that having symptoms of insomnia was linked to an increased risk of heart failure.
Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up un-refreshed were the symptoms of insomnia recorded in the questionnaires that were used to gather data.
Many health, behavioral and demographic factors were controlled in the study and it was found that having just one of the symptoms of insomnia increased chances of heart disease by 17 percent! Having two symptoms increased the chances by 92 percent, and having all three nearly tripled the risk.
The interesting factor about this study is that insomnia was a risk independent of other cardiovascular risks, i.e. none of the participants started out with heart disease, but at the 11year follow up, 1,412 cases of heart disease were documented.
The study suggests that chronic insomnia leads to high blood pressure which leads to a higher heart rate. Both are known to increase risk for heart failure.
Lars E. Laugsand, lead author of the study and postdoctoral fellow at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, stated “We cannot claim that insomnia is causing heart failure,” but acknowledges that insomnia plays a measurable role in the propensity of heart problems among individuals.
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