Study finds insomnia linked to increased risk of stroke

September 24, 2018 - 3:30 am

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Stroke is not a problem we see that often in young people, but when we do there is usually a clear attempt to determine the cause. In many cases the use of stimulants and illegal drugs contribute to the problem, as well as rare genetic disorders. 

But there is also a very strange link: an association between insomnia and an increased risk of stroke. The link was first uncovered somewhat accidentally as part of a larger study involving 20,000 patients with insomnia and 64,000 control patients. 

Researchers found those with insomnia had a higher rate of stroke than those with normal sleep habits. Of particular concern was that people between the ages of 18 and 34 were impacted as well. 

These findings emphasize the importance of identification and treatment of insomnia. 

One thing that I need to stress is that this is an interesting study, but the numbers are still some what low, and this may be an association. In other words, it might not be insomnia, but something related to insomnia.