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Poor sleep could lead to higher likelihood of heart disease and stroke: study

(Vlue/ (Vlue/

A new study shows that long-term sufficient sleep could decrease the likelihood of heart disease and stroke.

According to the research, which assessed the sleeping patterns of 7,200 participants, nine in 10 people do not get a good night’s sleep, and seven out of 10 cardiovascular conditions could be prevented with better sleep routines.

The study was conducted by researchers with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris, and evaluated men and women aged 50 to 75 years – all free of cardiovascular disease between 2008 and 2011. While the average age was 59.7 years, 62 per cent were men, according to a press release. All participants took part in a physical examination and completed questionnaires on family medical history and lifestyle.

The questionnaires collected key data regarding sleep habits and determined which participants were gaining ideal versus insufficient sleep. Researchers provided each participant with a sleep score, and evaluated cardiovascular events of participants over eight years.

Since 2011, “274 participants developed coronary heart disease or stroke,” according to the release. “The researchers analysed the association between sleep scores and cardiovascular events after adjusting for age, sex, alcohol consumption, occupation, smoking, body mass index, physical activity, cholesterol level, diabetes, and family history of heart attack, stroke or sudden cardiac death.”

Researchers found that if all participants had an optimal sleep score, the majority of new coronary heart disease and strokes (up to 72 per cent) might have been avoided each year.

According to the release, “almost half of participants (48 per cent) changed their sleep score: in 25 per cent it decreased whereas in 23 per cent it improved.”

As researchers assessed the association between the change in sleep habits and cardiovascular events, they found that consistently sufficient or optimal sleep over time was associated with a seven per cent reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke.

Dr. Aboubakari Nambiema, one of the study’s authors and a researcher with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, said in the release that the study “illustrates the potential for sleeping well.”

“Given that cardiovascular disease is the top cause of death worldwide, greater awareness is needed on the importance of good sleep for maintaining a healthy heart,” he said. Top Stories

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