Sleeping six hours or less regularly linked to increased stroke risk

USA Today reports, “The 30% of working adults who routinely sleep less than six hours a night are four times more likely to suffer a stroke, says a new study” presented at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies meeting.

The MSNBC “Vitals” blog reports that investigators “reviewed data from some 30,239 people participating in the REGARDS study – Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke – sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.”

Of these participants, “they teased out some 5,666 people who were healthy at the start of the study – no history of stroke, stroke symptoms, so-called ‘mini-stroke’ or transient ischemic attack, or elevated risk for sleep apnea and other sleep-disordered breathing problems.”

The Augusta (GA) Chronicle reports, “Those at normal weight who averaged less than six hours of sleep a night had four times the risk of stroke symptoms on follow-up, the study showed.”

However, “exactly why is unclear, said lead author Dr. Megan Ruiter.”

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the “peer review” process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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