Loud snoring, problems falling asleep, or often waking up feeling tired may be early signs of developing heart disease and other health problems. This information comes from a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh. The participants, whose age ranged from 45 years to 74 years, were asked about their quality of sleep. Three years later follow-up information revealed these conclusions:
- The loud snorers were more than twice as likely as the quiet sleepers to have metabolic syndrome. (Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low "good" cholesterol, high triglycerides, and excess belly fat.)
- People who had difficulty falling asleep or woke up feeling tired were about 80% and 70% (respectively) more likely than others to develop three or more risk factors for metabolic syndrome.
- Of the participants, 14% developed metabolic syndrome.
This is the first study to follow people with these sleep symptoms over time and track the development of metabolic syndrome. The study also noted the possibility that obesity is also partly responsible for the link between sleep problems and metabolic syndrome.
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