Study: Getting Adequate Night of Sleep Beneficial for Long-Term Health

January 15th 2020
Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor

Genetic variations, called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), were the main focus for researchers, as they are most commonly known to be linked to the development of heart disease and stroke.

A new study from the Tulane University Obesity Research Center found that even for people with a high genetic risk of heart disease or stroke, healthy sleep patterns could help offset that risk.

Genetic variations, called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), were the main focus for researchers, as they are most commonly known to be linked to the development of heart disease and stroke. More than 385,000 blood samples were taken from healthy participants in the UK Biobank project. These samples were used to create a genetic risk score to determine whether the participants were at high, intermediate, or low risk of cardiovascular problems.

The participants were followed for an average of 8.5 years, which saw 7280 cases of heart disease or stroke.

The study found that participants with both a high genetic risk and a poor sleep pattern had a more than 2.5-fold greater risk of heart disease and a 1.5-fold greater risk of stroke compared to those with a low genetic risk and a healthy sleep pattern.

On the other hand, a person with a high genetic risk but a healthy sleep pattern had a 2.1-fold greater risk of heart disease, and a 1.3-fold greater risk of stroke compared to someone with a low genetic risk, and a good sleep pattern. Someone with a low genetic risk, but an unhealthy sleep pattern had 1.7-fold greater risk of heart disease, and a 1.6-fold greater risk of stroke.

REFERENCE

Scofield, Carolyn. Can good sleep patterns offset genetic susceptibility to heart disease and stroke? Tulane University. https://news.tulane.edu/pr/can-good-sleep-patterns-offset-genetic-susceptibility-heart-disease-and-stroke. Published December 18, 2019. Accessed January 2, 2020.

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