Insomnia increases risk of major cardiovascular events, study finds

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  • A study investigated the link between insomnia and major cardiovascular events.
  • Insomnia increases one's chances of MACE.
  • Insomnia is the third most common cause of heart failure and other heart problems in people with coronary heart disease.

Researchers have found that people with coronary heart disease who experience insomnia two to 36 months after a cardiac event have an increased risk of a major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE). MACE includes cardiovascular death, hospitalisation due to a heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.

The study published in SLEEP Advances investigated the potential effect of insomnia on the risk of recurrent major adverse cardiovascular events.

The study enrolled 1082 patients two to 36 months after myocardial infarction or coronary revascularisation. At the start of the study, participants underwent a clinical examination, and their blood samples were collected. They also completed a comprehensive self-reported questionnaire, which included an assessment of clinical insomnia. The patients' medical records extracted data on recurrent cardiovascular events during the follow-up.

Poor sleep quality and heart disease risk 

Compared to people with heart problems who don't suffer from insomnia, those with insomnia have a higher risk of suffering a heart-related death, heart failure, or being hospitalised because of a heart attack.

The study results show that insomnia increased heart patients' risk of MACE and was the third most common cause after smoking and low physical activity.

Study authors say that the findings show that heart patients should be assessed for insomnia and receive appropriate treatment.

"Our study indicates that insomnia is common in heart disease patients and is linked with subsequent cardiovascular problems regardless of risk factors, co-existing health conditions and symptoms of mental health. Further research is needed to examine whether insomnia treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy and digital applications are effective in this patient group," said study author Lars Frojd in a press statement.

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