Both insomnia and sleep duration – i.e., five or fewer hours or more than nine hours of sleep per night — are “highly associated” with an increased incidence of myocardial infarction (heart attack), according to a recent meta-analysis of nine studies including more than one million patients with and without insomnia.
The pooled analysis, with follow-ups of more or less than five years, depending on the study, revealed:
– People who slept 5 or fewer hours had a 38% greater risk of heart attack compared with those who slept 6 hours, and a 56% greater risk than those who slept 7 -8 hours.
– Those who slept 6 hours had a 14% greater heart attack risk compared to those who slept 7-8 hours.
– Individuals who slept 6 hours or 7-8 hours were at lower risk of a heart attack than those who slept 9 or more hours.
– Among those under age 65, those who had insomnia had a 68% greater risk of a heart attack versus those without insomnia; among study subjects 65 or older, those with insomnia were at more than double the risk of a heart attack.
– Both men and women with insomnia were at more than double the risk of having a heart attack compared to those without insomnia.
– People with insomnia comorbid with high blood pressure had an 84% increased risk of a heart attack compared to those without hypertension; a two-fold increased risk was seen for those with insomnia and diabetes, and a 76% increased risk for those with insomnia and high cholesterol.
The authors conclude that “insomnia should be integrated into guidelines on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.”
To download the full study, published online February 25, 2023 in Clinical Cardiology, click here.