Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Abnormal sleep patterns in women linked to stroke

Sleep patterns in middle-aged women can increase their risk for stroke. The greatest increase in stroke risk (70 percent) was found among women who slept 9 hours or more per night.

A recent study looked at more than 93,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79. After following the group for an average of 7.5 years, the researchers found that women with a sleep duration of 6 hours or less, 8 hours, or 9 hours or more increased the risk of stroke by 14 percent, 24 percent, and 70 percent, respectively, compared with sleeping 7 hours.

Analysis also suggested that the adverse effect of long periods of sleep was not associated with frequent snoring or sleepiness. This means that a sleep pattern which is longer or shorter than the norm could be an independent risk factor for stroke.


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