People who are genetically susceptible to insomnia have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. We know more about this link today.
Insomnia is thought to be related to an increased risk of coronary artery disease, heart failure or stroke. This is shown in a new study published in the journal Circulation of the American Heart Association but stating that the genetic signs of the predisposition to insomnia are more involved than insomnia itself.
Is insomnia the cause of this higher risk of cardiovascular disease or is it simply associated? This is the question that Susanna Larsson, lead author of the study, sought to answer while the association between insomnia that affects up to 30% of the general population and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke has been established by several previous observational studies.
A group of 1.3 million people
In this new and unique study, Susanna Larsson and her colleague observed a group of 1.3 million people with or without heart disease and stroke using genetic variants known to be linked to a potential risk factor, such as insomnia, to reduce bias in the results.
The researchers found that genetic variants of insomnia were associated with significantly higher risks of coronary artery disease, heart failure and ischemic stroke (especially large stroke), but no atrial fibrillation.
"Sleep is a behavior that can be changed"
"It's important to identify the underlying reason for insomnia and treat it," Susanna Larsson says, "because sleep is a behavior that can be changed by new habits and stress management." But the author of the study also states that the limits of the conclusions of his work is that there is a link between a genetic variant of insomnia and cardiovascular diseases, but not with insomnia itself. According to Susanna Larsson, it was not possible to determine whether people with cardiovascular disease and in whom this variant was found actually suffered from insomnia.