Insomnia may lead to heart disease and stroke

Published : 12 Sep 2019 07:37 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 06:59 PM

Insomnia, whether consciously or not, is a debilitating condition to most – a new study has found that insomniacs have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke than those who rest well. While previous observational studies have associated just as much, they were unable to determine the reasoning behind it, report agencies.

Now, Susanna Larsson, at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, applied Mendelian randomisation on risk factors of insomnia – the technique uses a potential risk factor’s known genetic variants to reduce bias in the results.

In this first-of-its-kind approach on over one million participants with/without cardiovascular complications, the genetic variants for insomnia were associated with significantly higher odds of coronary artery disease, heart failure and ischaemic stroke (large artery stroke).

Unfortunately, the researchers could not determine if cardiovascular disease was responsible for insomnia, but Larsson addressed the importance of correctly identifying/treating insomnia, regardless.  “Sleep is a behavior that can be changed by new habits and stress management,” she adds.