Heart attack risk higher in those who sleep too little or too much

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The right amount of sleep is protective of heart health. This was the conclusion of new research that found sleep duration can influence a person’s risk of heart attack, regardless of other heart risk factors, including genetic ones.

In a recent Journal of the American College of Cardiology paper, scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom describe how they analyzed sleep habits and medical records of 461,347 people aged 40–69 years living in the U.K.

The data, which came from the UK Biobank, included self-reports of how many hours participants habitually slept per night and health records covering 7 years. It also included results of tests for risk genes.

The analysis revealed that those who slept less than 6 hours per night had a 20% higher risk of a first heart attack in comparison to those who slept 6–9 hours. Those who slept more than 9 hours had a 34% higher risk.

The researchers also found that keeping sleep duration to 6–9 hours per night can reduce the risk of a first heart attack by 18% in those people with a “high genetic liability” for developing heart disease.

“This [study],” says senior study author Celine Vetter, Ph.D., an assistant professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, “provides some of the strongest proof yet that sleep duration is a key factor when it comes to heart health — and this holds true for everyone.”

By Catharine Paddock PhD

For further reading, click: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326236.php

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