Insomnia affects up to 30 percent of the general population, and more than 200 genetic variants are associated with it.
For one study, researchers looked at more than 1.3 million people in Europe and compared whether or not genetic variants linked to insomnia were also associated with the risk of heart conditions and stroke.
The study found that people with a genetic predisposition to insomnia had a higher risk of heart disease, heart failure, and stroke that affected large blood vessels. Other types of stroke were not increased.
“Good sleep is important for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said study author Susanna Larsson from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
Larsson suggested that “individuals with poor sleep should try to change their habits and reduce stress in order to improve their sleep. Our genetic makeup has only a very minor influence on our risk of insomnia, which is mainly driven by behaviors, stress and other environmental factors.”
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