Little sleep dramatically increases risk of artery occlusion

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The Karolinska Institute in Sweden has been researching sleep and health for years. A recent study by the institute now suggests that less than five hours of sleep more than doubles the risk of clogged arteries. Specifically, the risk is increased by 74 percent, as can be read in the European Heart Journal, where the study was published.

“Our study suggests that seven to eight hours of sleep per night is a good habit to reduce the risk of pAVD,” explains study author Shuai Yuan. Abbreviated as pAVD or PAD, the peripheral arterial disease affects more than 200 million people worldwide.

The arteries in the legs are clogged, restricting blood flow. The risk of stroke and heart attack increases.

Reciprocal relationship
In an observational analysis of 53,416 adults, less than five hours of sleep per night was associated with nearly twice the risk of PAD than seven to eight hours. This finding was supported by further analyses in 156,582 and 452,028 individuals.

In the causal studies, short sleep was associated with an increased risk of peripheral arterial disease. In addition, the peripheral arterial disease also appears to torpedo sleep: It was associated with a shorter night’s rest in the study.

Says Yuan, “The results suggest that short night sleep may increase the likelihood of developing PAD and that PAD increases the risk of inadequate sleep.”

More research is needed on breaking the reciprocal link between short sleep and PAD.

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