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Short and poor sleepers have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease

Date:
March 20, 2013
Source:
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Summary:
People who sleep poorly or not long enough have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This does not apply to people who sleep less than 6 hours, but wake up feeling fit and rested.
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People who sleep poorly or not long enough have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This does not apply to people who sleep less than 6 hours, but wake up feeling fit and rested. Researchers from Wageningen University and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) studied the link between the duration and quality of sleep and the incidence of cardiovascular disease among a group of 20.000 people.

The research team concluded that people who sleep for less than 6 hoursand who also sleep badly are doubly unfortunate. The research showed that this group has a 65% higher risk of cardiovascular disease compared with people who sleep soundly for seven to eight hours. Short sleepers who wake up feeling fit and rested have the same chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke as longer sleepers. Researcher Marieke Hoevenaar-Blom has been awarded a PhD for this research at Wageningen University.

The researchers think that short sleepers who wake up feeling fit enjoy a high quality of sleep. The team found that long sleepers (who sleep for 9 hours or more) do not have an extra risk, despite claims to the contrary resulting from previous studies.

The findings imply that sleep can be added to the list of traditional positive lifestyle factors (healthy eating habits, not smoking, moderate alcohol consumption and sufficient physical activity). People who follow these 'lifestyle rules' have a 57% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and their chance of dying from cardiovascular disease is 2/3 lower. These figures compare with people who follow just one of these lifestyle rules. So a healthy lifestyle combined with a good night's sleep lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 65%, and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by a staggering 83%.

The research is based on an analysis of an extensive database (the MORGEN project carried out by RIVM), which contains data on the eating habits, lifestyle and risk factors of 20,000 people from the Dutch cities Amsterdam, Doetinchem and Maastricht. Statistics were also kept on how many of these people suffered or died from cardiovascular disease during the 10 to 15 years after the study was launched.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Wageningen University and Research Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Short and poor sleepers have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320115108.htm>.
Wageningen University and Research Centre. (2013, March 20). Short and poor sleepers have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320115108.htm
Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Short and poor sleepers have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320115108.htm (accessed July 3, 2015).

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