In a new study from Karolinska Institutet, researchers found insomnia may be a risk factor for a brain bleed from a ruptured aneurysm along with more well-known risk factors of smoking and high blood pressure.
More than 3% of adults worldwide have unruptured blood vessel malformations in the brain called intracranial aneurysms, the majority of which will never rupture.
About 2.5% of intracranial aneurysms will rupture, resulting in a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), also called a brain bleed.
SAH is a type of stroke that occurs when a blood vessel on the surface of the brain ruptures and bleeds into the space between the brain and the skull.
In the study, the researchers sought to determine whether various factors were associated with intracranial aneurysm and/or the aneurysm rupturing.
They studied established risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure and also assessed the link between aneurysms and coffee consumption, sleep, physical activity, body mass index (BMI), blood glucose levels, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, chronic inflammation and kidney function.
Data from several genome-wide association studies were used to gauge genetic associations to lifestyle and risk factors.
The team found a genetic predisposition for insomnia was linked to a 24% increased risk for the brain bleeding problem.
The risk was about three times higher for smokers vs. non-smokers.
The risk was almost three times higher for each 10 mm Hg increase in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading).
The association between insomnia and the brain bleeding problem has not been reported previously, and these findings warrant confirmation in future studies
According to a 2016 American Heart Association scientific statement, insufficient and poor-quality sleep and sleep disorders are linked to a higher risk of high blood pressure.
The statement summary notes that treating people with sleep disorders may provide clinical benefits, particularly for blood pressure.
If you care about sleep, please read studies about sleep apnea linked to autoimmune diseases and findings of why people with sleep apnea more likely to have high blood pressure.
For more information about sleep and your health, please see recent studies about too much, too little sleep linked to higher heart disease risk and results showing that this common sleep supplement may protect against cognitive decline, memory loss.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. One author of the study is Susanna C. Larsson, Ph.D.
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