-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- If you have trouble sleeping
at night, you may be headed for more than just frustration and
fatigue: Middle-aged and older adults with insomnia are more likely
to be hospitalized and use home health care services, a new study
Preventing insomnia in this group of people could reduce their
use of health services by anywhere from 6 percent to 14 percent,
according to the researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of
The researchers looked at U.S. national data on insomnia
symptoms and health-services use among nearly 14,400 middle-aged
and older adults. They found that more than 40 percent of the study
participants reported at least one insomnia symptom, such as
trouble falling asleep, waking up during the night, and waking up
too early and not being able to fall asleep again.
The researchers said they found a significant association
between insomnia symptoms and the use of costly health services
such as hospitalization and home health care services within two
"These results suggest that treating and carefully monitoring insomnia symptoms in middle-aged and older adults might somewhat reduce the use of health services and presumably the poor health outcomes that necessitate these services," study lead author Christopher Kaufmann, a doctoral student with the Bloomberg School's department of mental health, said in a school news release.
The study was published online May 10 in the
Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. While the study
tied insomnia to greater use of some health care services, it
didn't prove cause-and-effect.
Insomnia is the most common sleep problem at any age and affects
nearly half of adults 60 and older, according to the U.S. National
Institutes of Health. People with insomnia often get too little
sleep, have poor sleep quality and don't feel refreshed when they
get up in the morning.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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