Abnormal Sleep Patterns Increase Middle-Age Women’s Risk of Stroke

A Women’s Health Initiatives research study found that abnormal sleep patterns put postmenopausal women at a greater risk of stroke, finding those who sleep 9 hours or more per night at a 70 percent greater risk.

The study, which will be published in the July 28 issue of Stroke, it reports that “women with a sleep duration of 6 hours or less, 8 hours, or 9 hours or more increased the risk of stroke by 14 percent, 24 percent, and 70 percent, respectively, compared with sleeping 7 hours,” reported in Reuters. The study monitored 93,175 women, between the ages of 50 to 79, over an average of 7.5 years. During which 1,166 women experienced an ischemic stroke, leading researchers to link the significance between sleep duration and cardiovascular disease. For women who initially had cardiovascular disease, sleep duration was not reported to have a profound impact on their risk.

Co-researcher, Dr. Jiu-Chiuan Chen, from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill added, “Our data does not imply that if women with long sleep cut their sleep hours they would be at a lower risk. […] Further studies are needed to help us understand the possible mechanisms involved in the associations found in this study.”


Reuters 7/21/08, Stroke 7/28/08

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