MONDAY, March 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Hypersomnolence among the elderly is associated with an increased risk for subsequent development of medical conditions, including diabetes, cancer, and hypertension, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 25 to May 1 in Toronto.

Maurice M. Ohayon, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., from Stanford University in California, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal study in eight states in the United States. A total of 12,218 individuals were interviewed during the first wave (W1), and three years later, 10,930 were interviewed during the second wave (W2). Analyses included the 10,930 individuals who participated in both waves; 3,701 were at least 65 years old during W2.

The researchers found that 22.7 and 23.7 percent of the elderly participants reported hypersomnolence during W1 and W2, respectively. For 40.9 percent, hypersomnolence was chronic. Hypersomnolence in W1 was a risk factor for development of diabetes, cancer, and hypertension in W2 (RRs, 2.3, 2.0, and 2.3, respectively) after adjustment for gender and obstructive sleep apnea. Risk factors for the development of heart disease in W2 included hypersomnolence in W1 and chronic hypersomnolence (present in W1 and W2; RRs, 1.8 and 2.5, respectively). There was an association noted for hypersomnolence in W2 and diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue in W2 (odds ratio, 1.5).

“Paying attention to sleepiness in older adults could help doctors predict and prevent future medical conditions,” Ohayon said in a statement. “Older adults and their family members may want to take a closer look at sleeping habits to understand the potential risk for developing a more serious medical condition.”

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