Less than six hours sleep a night more dangerous for premenopausal women

January 11, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Getting less than six hours sleep a night is more dangerous for younger women who have not yet been through the menopause, according to researchers at the University of Warwick.

In a paper published in the Journal of , Dr Saverio Stranges, Associate Professor at the University’s Warwick Medical School led a team of researchers to look at reduced sleep duration and hypertension.

They found getting less than six hours sleep each night was associated with a significant increased risk of hypertension in women only. Furthermore, the effect of reduced sleep duration on hypertension was more than doubled in premenopausal women, compared to postmenopausal women.

The researchers used data from the large population-based Western New York Health Study. They were 3,027 participants, 43.5% were male and 56.5% were female. Increased hypertension increases the risk of . Hypertension is defined as of at least 140 or at least 90 mmHg.

Results showed a 66% higher prevalence of hypertension among women sleeping less than six hours per night, compared to those sleeping more than six hours.

Dr Stranges said: “As a novel finding in subgroup analyses by menopausal status, the effect of reduced sleep duration on hypertension was exacerbated and more than doubled among premenopausal women as compared to postmenopausal counterparts. There were no significant associations among men."

It seems for women, getting less than six hours of sleep a night can increase the risk of hypertension, which may produce detrimental cardiovascular effects. This risk is stronger among premenopausal women.”Dr Stranges added more research was needed to discover why the risk is higher in .

More information: The paper, 'A Population-based Study of Reduced Sleep Duration and Hypertension: the Strongest Association May Be in Premenopausal Women', is published in Journal of Hypertension.

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