Insomnia affects up to one-third of the population in the United States, and is a common complaint of older adults. Xiang Gao, from Brigham and Women's Hospital (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues followed 23,447 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who self-reported insomnia symptoms for a period of six years. Beginning in 2004 through 2010, researchers documented 2025 deaths using information from government and family sources. After adjusting for lifestyle factors, age and other chronic conditions, researchers found that men who reported difficulty initiating sleep and non-restorative sleep had a 55% and 32% increased risk of cardiovascular disease-related mortality over the six year follow up, respectively, as compared to men who did not report these insomnia-related symptoms. The study authors warn that: “Some insomnia symptoms, especially difficulty initiating asleep and non-restorative sleep, are associated with a modestly higher risk of mortality.”
Yanping Li, Xuehong Zhang, John W. Winkelman, Susan Redline, Frank B. Hu, Meir Stampfer, Jing Ma, Xiang Gao. “The Association between Insomnia Symptoms and Mortality: A Prospective Study of US Men.” Circulation, November 13, 2013.
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