THURSDAY, Nov. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Individual and coexisting symptoms of insomnia are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published in Nov. 6 in Neurology.

Bang Zheng, M.D., from the Peking University Health Science Center in China, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving 487,200 adults aged 30 to 79 years who were free of stroke, coronary heart disease, and cancer at baseline. Individuals with at least one of the following symptoms for at least three days per week were classified as having insomnia: difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep, early morning awakening, and daytime dysfunction.

The researchers identified 130,032 documented cases of CVD during a median of 9.6 years of follow-up. The risk of total CVD was increased with each of the three insomnia symptoms, with adjusted hazard ratios of 1.09, 1.07, and 1.13, respectively. In addition, participants with individual symptoms had increased risks of ischemic heart disease (hazard ratios, 1.13, 1.09, and 1.17, respectively) and ischemic stroke, but no increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Compared with nonsymptomatic adults, participants with all three symptoms had 18, 22, and 10 percent increased risk of CVD, ischemic heart disease, or ischemic stroke, respectively. In younger individuals and those without baseline hypertension, associations between three symptoms and CVD incidence were consistently stronger.

“Early detection and intervention targeted at individual insomnia symptoms may have the potential to reduce subsequent CVD risks, especially among young adults and adults who have not developed hypertension,” the authors write.

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