-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Loud snoring, difficulty
falling asleep and unrefreshing sleep are each significant
predictors of the development of metabolic syndrome, finds a new
Metabolic syndrome refers to the presence of at least three of
five risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. The risk
factors are: excess abdominal fat; high triglycerides; low HDL
("good") cholesterol; high blood pressure; and high blood
U.S. researchers studied 812 people, aged 45 to 74, for three
years and found that the risk of developing metabolic syndrome was
more than two times higher than normal in those with frequent loud
snoring, 80 percent higher in those with difficulty falling asleep,
and 70 percent higher in those with unrefreshing sleep.
When they focused on the individual risk factors for metabolic
syndrome, the researchers found that loud snoring significantly
predicted the development of high blood sugar and low HDL
cholesterol. Difficulty falling asleep and unrefreshing sleep did
not predict any individual risk factors.
The findings, published Dec. 1 in the journal
Sleep, highlight the importance of screening patients for common sleep complaints during routine doctor visits, according to the researchers.
"This is the first prospective study to show that a broader array of commonly reported sleep symptoms, including insomnia and sleep-disordered breathing symptoms, predict the development of the metabolic syndrome, a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease," lead author Wendy M. Troxel, an assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, said in an American Academy of Sleep Medicine news release.
"It was rather striking that the effects of difficulty falling asleep and loud snoring were largely independent of one another," she added.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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