This sleep problem combo may increase risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, death

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A recent study from Flinders University found people who suffer from both insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to suffer from heart problems and are almost 50% more likely to die.

Insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea are the two most common sleep disorders, affecting 10 to 30% of the population, but people can often suffer from both at the same time.

In the study, the team analyzed a large US-based dataset of over 5,000 people.

The participants, aged around 60 years of age at the beginning of the study and 52% female, were followed for approximately 15 years, with 1,210 people dying during that time.

The results suggested that participants with the two sleep problems were two times more likely to have high blood pressure and 70% more likely to have heart disease than participants with neither insomnia nor sleep apnea.

The study also showed participants with the sleep problem combo had a 47% increased risk of dying (for any reason) compared to participants with no insomnia or sleep apnea.

While further research is needed to investigate what might be causing the higher mortality risk for those with the sleep problem combo, researchers say further investigation is also warranted to ensure treatments are working effectively.

Specific treatments may be needed for people with co-occurring disorders so it’s important doctors examine the efficacy of insomnia and sleep apnea treatments in this specific population.

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The study was published in the European Respiratory Journal and conducted by Dr. Bastien Lechat et al.

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