The study found that people who have trouble sleeping, sleep poorly or wake up early are more likely to have a stroke compared to those who sleep well at night.
US scientists say that people with one or more self-reported symptoms of insomnia had a 16% higher risk of developing a serious illness than those who did not have these symptoms.
They noted that the association was strongest in participants younger than 50, with those with five to eight symptoms having nearly four times the risk of stroke.
The team said its findings, published in the journal Neurology, suggest that improving sleep quality through therapy could help reduce this risk.
Study author Dr. Vandemi Sawadogo of Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond and a member of the American Academy of Neurology explained: “There are many treatments that can help improve people’s sleep quality, so identifying sleep problems that lead to an increased risk of stroke may allow for early treatment or behavioral intervention. therapy for people with sleep problems and may reduce the risk of stroke later in life.”
The study included more than 31,000 participants with a mean age of 61 years who did not have a history of stroke at the start of the study and were followed up for an average of nine years.
Participants were asked how often they had difficulty falling asleep, whether they woke up regularly during the night, whether they had difficulty getting up too early and could not fall asleep again, and how often they felt rested in the morning.
The scores ranged from zero to eight, with higher numbers indicating more severe symptoms.
The scientists said they took into account factors that can affect stroke risk, such as alcohol consumption, smoking and physical activity levels.
In nearly a decade, 2,101 cases of stroke have been reported: 1,300 with symptoms 1 to 4, 436 with symptoms 5 to 8, and 365 without symptoms.
The researchers noted that those with five to eight symptoms of insomnia had a 51% increased risk of stroke.
They added that participants under the age of 50 who had five to eight symptoms were almost 4 times more likely to have a stroke than people without symptoms.
Meanwhile, people aged 50 and older with the same number of symptoms were found to have a 38% lower risk of stroke than people without symptoms.
The team said this association was greatest in patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and depression.
“This difference in risk between these two age groups could be explained by the increased incidence of stroke in the elderly,” Sawadogo said. “The list of risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, can increase with age, leading to insomnia.” symptoms are one of many potential factors.” “This striking difference suggests that addressing insomnia symptoms at a younger age may be an effective stroke prevention strategy. Future research should explore how to reduce the risk of stroke by addressing sleep problems.”