Short sleep at night linked to doubled risk of dangerous artery disease

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A new study at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden found that sleeping for less than five hours a night can increase the risk of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD) by 74%.

PAD occurs when the arteries in the legs are clogged, which restricts blood flow and increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. The study included more than 650,000 participants and was conducted in two parts.

First, the researchers analyzed the associations of sleep duration and daytime napping with the risk of PAD.

In the second part, the investigators used genetic data to perform naturally randomized controlled trials—called Mendelian randomization—to examine causality of the associations.

The strongest evidence was for short sleep, where the relationship with PAD went both ways.

Sleeping less than five hours a night was associated with a nearly doubled risk of PAD compared with seven to eight hours. This finding was supported by further analyses in larger populations.

In the causal studies, short sleep was associated with an increased risk of PAD and, in addition, PAD was associated with an increased likelihood of short sleep.

Regarding long sleep, the team found sleeping eight hours or more per night was linked with a 24% higher risk of PAD compared with seven to eight hours.

However, no causal links were found between long sleep and PAD. Similar results were reported for napping, where daytime nappers had a 32% higher risk of PAD compared to those who did not nap.

The study suggests that sleeping for seven to eight hours a night is a good habit for lowering the risk of PAD.

The study highlights the importance of getting enough sleep for maintaining good health and preventing diseases like PAD.

While more research is needed to understand the link between sleep and PAD, the study suggests that simple lifestyle changes, such as getting more physical activity, can help improve sleep habits and lower the risk of developing PAD.

Lifestyle changes that help people get more sleep, such as being physically active, may lower the risk of developing PAD. For patients with PAD, optimizing pain management could enable them to have a good night’s sleep.

If you care about health, please read studies about high blood pressure drugs that may harm your sleep, and calcium supplements may harm your heart health.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that Vitamin D deficiency can increase heart disease risk, and results showing COVID vaccines may increase heart disease risk.

The study was conducted by Dr. Shuai Yuan et al.

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