Healthy sleep habits may help reduce heart failure risk

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In a new study, researchers found that adults with the healthiest sleep patterns had a 42% lower risk of heart failure regardless of other risk factors compared to adults with unhealthy sleep patterns.

Healthy sleep patterns include sleeping 7-8 hours a day and having no frequent insomnia, snoring, or excessive daytime sleepiness.

The research was conducted by a team at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Heart failure affects more than 26 million people, and emerging evidence indicates sleep problems may play a role in the development of heart failure.

This study examined the link between healthy sleep patterns and heart failure and included data on 408,802 UK Biobank participants, ages 37 to 73 at the time of recruitment (2006-2010).

Researchers recorded 5,221 cases of heart failure during a median follow-up of 10 years. They also analyzed sleep quality as well as overall sleep patterns.

They found people with the healthiest sleep pattern had a 42% reduction in the risk of heart failure compared to people with an unhealthy sleep pattern.

They also found the risk of heart failure was independently associated and: 8% lower in early risers; 12% lower in those who slept 7 to 8 hours daily; 17% lower in those who did not have frequent insomnia; and 34% lower in those reporting no daytime sleepiness.

The findings highlight the importance of improving overall sleep patterns to help prevent heart failure.

Participant sleep behaviors were self-reported, and the information on changes in sleep behaviors during follow-up was not available.

The researchers noted other unmeasured or unknown adjustments may have also influenced the findings.

One author of the study is Lu Qi, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology and director of the Obesity Research Center.

The study is published in Circulation.

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