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MedPageToday: Insomnia Ups Risk in Young Adults

Posted on April 4, 2014
Image: Insomnia/Alyssa L. Miller/Flickr

Image: Insomnia/Alyssa L. Miller/Flickr

Insomnia is a risk factor for stroke, and adults under age 40 have the highest stroke risk related to sleep deprivation, according to a study from Taiwan.

Young adults with insomnia had an eight-fold higher risk for stroke than their age-matched peers without sleep problems (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 8.06, 95% CI 3.15-20.6, P<0.0001) and persistent insomniacs had a higher cumulative rate of stroke than those who experienced remissions over 3 years of follow up (P=0.024), researcher Ya-Wen Hsu, PhD, of Chi-Mei Medical Center, Taiwan, and colleagues, wrote in the May issue of Stroke.

Having diabetes also slightly increased insomnia-related stroke risk in the study population.

The investigation is among the first to attempt to quantify stroke risk associated with sleep deprivation in a large population, and the first to examine whether different insomnia subtypes have differing impacts on risk, the researchers wrote.

“This study identifies insomnia as an independent risk factor for stroke in young adults, and that is new,” said Demetrius Lopes, MD, director of neuroendovascular surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, who did not participate in the research.

“We consider risk factors like diabetes and high blood pressure in young adults but we definitely overlook sleep, and this is a population that does not really have good sleep habits,” he told MedPage Today. “This study is calling attention to the importance of identifying chronic insomnia in this age group.”

Continue reading the story at MedPageToday.com »