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Insomnia 'may be a factor in heart failure'

Insomnia 'may be a factor in heart failure'
6th March 2013

Those who find it difficult to get to sleep may be at an increased danger of heart failure, according to new research.

Scientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology studied 50,000 people between the ages of 20 and 89 for 11 years.

They discovered those who have regular nights of poor sleep have an increased likelihood of developing the condition, whereby the heart fails to pump blood correctly.

More than 750,000 people in the UK have heart failure and in the majority of cases, the muscles of the heart have become too weak or stiff for treatment to be effective.

People with the condition often feel breathless and exhausted, while they struggle to get a good night's sleep.

This is the first study of its kind to attempt to discover if the sleep issue is a factor in the development of heart failure and further research is planned to make a definitive conclusion.

Dr Lars Laugsand, who led the investigation, said: "We don't know whether insomnia truly causes heart failure. But if it does, the good thing is it is a potentially treatable condition."

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