February 22, 2008
Science Daily/American Heart Association
Regular daytime dozing forewarns of a significantly increased risk of stroke in older Americans, researchers reported at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2008.
Among 2,153 participants in a prospective study with an average follow-up of 2.3 years, the risk of stroke was 2.6 times greater for those classified as doing "some dozing" compared to those with "no dozing." Those in the "significant dozing" group had a 4.5 times higher risk.
After controlling for several stroke risk factors -- age, race-ethnicity, sex, education, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and physical activity -- they found unexpectedly high stroke risks for the "some dozing" and "significant dozing" groups compared to "no dozing."
The risk of a heart attack or vascular death was higher -- 1.6 percent for the moderate dozers and 2.6 percent for the significant dozers. The findings were similar for all ethnicities and both genders.
"Given what's known now, it's worth assessing patients for sleep problems," Boden-Albala said. "And the initial assessment can be something as simple as the Epworth scale. If patients are moderately or significantly dozing, physicians need to think about sending them for further evaluation."