Sleep disturbances as a risk factor for development of atrial fibrillation

Patients with complaints of frequent night waking or insomnia have an increased risk of development of atrial fibrillation (AF) show the results of the research.

The researchers analyzed data from two cohort studies (5703, and 4553 of participants, respectively), and the California database of patients (more than 14.3 million), reports The Pharmaceutical Journal.

The results of the first study was able to establish that patients suffering from frequent nocturnal awakenings, had a 33% higher risk of developing AF during 11.6 years average follow-up period. While California patients diagnosed with insomnia the risk of developing AF during 3.9 years of observation increased by 36%. In the second cohort study, the incidence of AF was also associated with more frequent night awakenings.

The researchers said that obstructive sleep apnea is an established risk factor for development of AF, as well as cause poor quality of sleep.

Given the high prevalence of sleep disorders among the General population, the researchers suggested that measures to increase sleep quality in the future can have an impact on the prevention of AF.

“The results show that the quality of sleep is just as important as the previously described risk factors,” concluded the authors.

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