Poor Sleep Connected to Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease

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Poor sleep is connected to a significantly increased risk for major cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, such as obesity, diabetes, and coronary artery disease, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine have found.

Poor sleep is connected to a significantly increased risk for major cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, such as obesity, diabetes, and coronary artery disease, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine have found.

The researchers studied data on 138,201 individuals from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual telephone survey carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After adjusting for demographic, socioeconomic, medical, and psychological factors, they found that patients who suffered sleep disturbances at least three nights per week were 35% more likely to be obese, 54% more likely to have diabetes, 98% more likely to have coronary artery disease, 80% more likely to suffer a heart attack, and 102% more likely to have a stroke.

“Previous studies have demonstrated that those who get less sleep are more likely to also be obese, have diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and are more likely to die sooner, but this new analysis has revealed that other sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or even too much sleep, are also associated with cardiovascular and metabolic health issues,” the study’s lead author, Michael A. Grandner, PhD, said in a press release.

The researchers added that future studies should focus on whether sleep intervention has the potential to reduce the cardiometabolic consequences of sleep disturbance.

The study was published online ahead of print last month in the Journal of Sleep Research.

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