Chronic insomnia link to higher death risk

June 10, 2010 at 1:34 AM
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SAN ANTONIO, June 10 (UPI) -- People who suffer from chronic insomnia may have a higher risk than others of dying, U.S. researchers found.

Lead author Laurel Finn, a biostatistician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the study indicated the adjusted hazard ratio for all-cause mortality was three times higher in people with chronic insomnia than in people who report no insomnia.

Chronic insomnia was defined as insomnia symptoms on at least two of the surveys. In the follow-up period of 19 years, 128 participants had died.

The estimated mortality hazard ratios were adjusted for weight, age and sex, as well as for self-reported conditions including chronic bronchitis, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and depression.

"Insomnia is a burdensome symptom and has a negative impact on sleep quality that may lead people to seek treatment," Finn said in a statement. "The identification of insomnia as a mortality risk factor may have clinical implications and raise the priority level for insomnia treatment."

The finding was presented at Sleep, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, in San Antonio.

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