Do insomnia and disrupted sleep during menopause increase a woman's risk of heart disease?

©2013 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Insomnia and other sleep disturbances are common among perimenopausal and postmenopausal women and may increase their risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Evidence that a combination of altered sleep duration and insomnia among women ages 50-79 doubled their risk of both CHD and CVD over a period of more than 10 years is presented in an article in Journal of Women's Health.

In "Sleep Duration, Insomnia, and among Postmenopausal Women in the Women's Health Initiative," Megan Sands-Lincoln, PhD, MPH and a team of researchers from leading medical institutions across the U.S. gathered self-reported data on sleep duration and insomnia in 86,329 women 50-79 years of age. Shorter (<5 hours) and longer (>10 hours) sleep duration and insomnia were associated with higher incidence of CHD and CVD over 10.3 years, and when considered together, the interaction risk of insomnia and sleep duration was significant.

"This is the first study to investigate interactions of sleep duration with insomnia in relation to increased risk of CHD and CVD in ," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health.

More information: The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website at http://www.liebertpub.com/jwh.

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