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Quality of Sleep Could Increase Heart Risk

 

by the Go Red For Women Editors

Recent Study Shows Sleep Deprivation and Poor Quality of Sleep Could Increase Inflammation in Women with Heart Disease More Than Men

Women who have heart disease may be more susceptible to higher levels of inflammation caused by poor sleep than men, according to a new study published by The Journal of Psychiatric Research.

The study examined nearly 700 people with coronary heart disease with an average age of 66 for men and 64 for women, whose sleep quality and inflammation levels were analyzed at the start and end of a five-year period.

“Inflammation is a well-known predictor of cardiovascular health,” study researcher Aric Prather, Ph.D., a clinical health psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a statement. “Now we have evidence that poor sleep appears to play a bigger role than we had previously thought in driving long-term increases in inflammation levels and may contribute to the negative consequences often associated with poor sleep.”

Sleep Deprivation Increases Heart Risk

In the study, researchers found an association between poor sleep quality and women showing the “biomarkers” for inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease and stroke. Specifically, the study found that women who reported sleep deprivation (sleeping less than six hours per night) had far more inflammation than men who slept the same amount.

Researchers noted that slightly more women than men were likely to report poor sleep, such as frequent waking (81 percent of women, versus 78 percent of men), waking up too early (about 50 percent of women, versus 41 percent of men) and having a hard time falling asleep (about 33 percent of women, versus 31 percent of men).

American Heart Association CEO, Nancy Brown, spoke out on the study and women’s need for getting more sleep, highlighting the importance of sleep for women in preventing heart disease and living healthy.

Other Sleep Disorders Associated with Heart Risk

This isn’t the first time bad sleep has been linked with factors that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, such as inflammation and high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recently released a study showing sleep apnea preventing restful sleep and impacting high blood pressure, arrhythmia, stroke and heart failure.

The AHA also previously released sleep research showing that insomnia could moderately raise your heart attack risk. One of the key findings from this study showed that people who had trouble falling asleep almost everyday had a 45 percent higher heart attack risk.

Another AHA study showing that poor sleep quality increases risk of high blood pressure determined high-quality sleep to be as important to health as diet and exercise.

Learn more heart disease research and tips on how to prevent heart disease on Go Red.