“The medical impact of chronic insomnia has been underestimated,” said researcher Alexandros Vgontzas at the conclusion of his oral presentation this afternoon at SLEEP 2008.
In a study (ID# 685) of 1,741 men and women from Central Pennsylvania, Vgontzas and colleagues found that having insomnia and a short sleep duration of less than or equal to five hours increased the risk of high blood pressure by five times. Having insomnia and sleeping for five to six hours made individuals three times more likely to have high blood pressure. Without a complaint of insomnia, short sleep duration of less than or equal to five hours increased the risk of high blood pressure by only 1.5 times.
Sleep time was recorded during one night in a sleep laboratory. “Insomnia” was defined as a complaint of insomnia for more than or equal to one year.
Vgontzas, of Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., indicated that these results show that insomnia with a short sleep duration may raise the risk of high blood pressure at a rate that is similar to obstructive sleep apnea.
The SLEEP 2008 abstract book is available online at http://www.journalsleep.org/PDF/AbstractBook2008.pdf.