Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Insomnia may raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart failure and stroke, new research shows.
The study was published Monday in Circulation.
"It's important to identify the underlying reason for insomnia and treat it," Susanna Larsson, a researcher at Karolinska Institute in Sweden and study lead author, said in a news release.
The researchers looked at data from multiple studies for 1.3 million people with and without heart disease and stroke. They used Mendelian randomization to identify genetic variants that are linked to insomnia.
While the researchers couldn't determine whether people in the study with cardiovascular disease had insomnia, they found the genetic variants increased the likelihood of coronary artery disease, heart failure and ischemic stroke. The risk, the researchers say, was especially high for large artery stroke.
According to the National Institutes of Health, between 50 and 70 million people in the United States has insomnia.
"Sleep is a behavior that can be changed by new habits and stress management," Larsson said.