Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Abnormal sleep patterns in women linked to stroke

‘Sleep patterns in middle-aged women can increase their risk for stroke, researchers in the United States have found. The greatest increase in stroke risk — 70 percent — was noted among women who slept 9 hours or more per night, according to their report in the medical journal Stroke.

A link between sleep duration and mortality has previously been noted in a number of studies, but evidence of an association between sleep patterns and cardiovascular disease has been lacking, Dr. Jiu-Chiuan Chen, from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and co-researchers note. [..]

After following the group for an average of 7.5 years, the researchers found that 1,166 women experienced an ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked. This prevents oxygen from reaching the brain and the brain’s tissue begins to die.

Upon further analysis, Chen’s group found 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.’

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