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Is there a link between insomnia and increased risk of stroke?

June 04, 2019 - 4:00 am

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — For many years, scientists have been looking at a very interesting phenomenon — a link between insomnia and an increased risk of stroke.

This line of thinking gained traction for good reason: a study of over 20,000 patients with insomnia and 64,000 control patients found that those with insomnia had a higher rate of stroke than those with normal sleep habits. 

Of particular concern was a mathematical term called “the incidence rate ratio," which was highest for those as young as 18–34 years of age. 

These findings emphasize the importance of identification and treatment of insomnia, and a take away from this report is the fact that we need to stress the importance of lifestyle concerns such as diet, exercise and sleep.