In a new study, researchers found middle-aged adults with high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke could be at high risk for cancer and early death when sleeping less than six hours per day.
The research was conducted by a team from Penn State University and elsewhere.
The team analyzed data of more than 1,600 adults who were categorized into two groups as having stage 2 high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes and having heart disease or stroke.
Participants were studied in the sleep laboratory (1991-1998) for one night and then researchers tracked their cause of death up to the end of 2016.
Researchers found among the 512 people who passed away, one-third died of heart disease or stroke and one-fourth died due to cancer.
People who had high blood pressure or diabetes and slept less than 6 hours had twice the increased risk of dying from heart disease or stroke.
People who had heart disease or stroke and slept less than 6 hours had three times the increased risk of dying from cancer.
The increased risk of early death for people with high blood pressure or diabetes was negligible if they slept for more than 6 hours.
The findings suggest that achieving normal sleep may be protective for some people with these health conditions and risks.
However, further research is needed to examine whether improving and increasing sleep through medical or behavioral therapies can reduce the risk of early death.
The team says short sleep duration should be included as a useful risk factor to predict the long-term outcomes of people with these health conditions and as a target of primary and specialized clinical practices.
Better identification of people with specific sleep issues would potentially lead to improved prevention, more complete treatment approaches, better long-term outcomes, and less healthcare usage.
According to the American Heart Association, roughly 45% of the United States population has stage 2 high blood pressure and/or Type 2 diabetes, while another 14% have heart disease or stroke.
The lead author of the study is Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, Ph.D., associate professor.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.