How much you sleep may affect your risk of fractures and falls

In a recent study, researchers found that compared with women in a recent study who slept seven to eight hours each night, women who slept for >5 hours or <10 hours had about a 25% increased risks of experiencing recurrent falls (falling at least twice in a year).

The study included 157,306 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative, with an average follow-up time of 7.6 years for falls and 12.0 years for fractures.

The annualized rate of recurrent fall events was 10.6% among women reporting 5 hours of sleep per night, 7.0% among women sleeping seven to eight hours per night, and 11.8% among women sleeping 10 hours per night.

The team showed that poor sleep quality, insomnia, and more sleep disturbances were associated with an increased odds of recurrent falls.

Short sleep was linked to an increased risk of all fractures, and upper limb, lower limb, and central body fractures, but not with an increased risk of hip fractures.

The team suggests falls are an important public health problem among older adults and lead to moderate to severe injuries.

Most fractures occur because of falls, and recent evidence shows that mortality from falls in the US is increasing.

Even though falls are caused by a number of factors, the study focuses on a novel risk factor: sleep.

Results suggest that interventions aimed at improving sleep may reduce the risk of falls.

The lead author is Dr. Jane Cauley from the University of Pittsburgh.

The study is published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research analysis.

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Source: Journal of Bone and Mineral Research analysis.