Posted on Feb 02, 2016, 6 a.m.
Persistent (chronic) insomnia increases inflammation.
Previous studies suggest that insomnia associates with increased risk of death. Sairam Parthasarathy, from the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson (Arizona, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 1409 subjects enrolled in the Tucson Epidemiological Study of Airway Obstructive Disease (TESAOD), which commenced in 1972, involved multiple follow-up surveys and mortality follow-up data for a total of 38 years. At the study’s start and multiple timepoints during the study period, blood was collected and serum samples cryopreserved. Follow-up surveys assessed participants for sleep and related habits. Researchers analyzed data for the persistence of insomnia. Using data from the baseline 1972-1973 survey and the 1990-1992 follow-up survey, the researchers found that levels of serum C-reactive protein (CRP) – a marker of inflammation – increased significantly only in the persistent-insomnia group. In those subjects where CRP data was available, persistent insomnia associated with a 58% increased mortality risk (after adjustments for confounding factors). The study authors report that: “In a population-based cohort, persistent, and not intermittent, insomnia was associated with increased risk for all-cause and cardiopulmonary mortality and was associated with a steeper increase in inflammation.”
Sairam Parthasarathy, Monica M. Vasquez, Marilyn Halonen, Richard Bootzin, Stuart F. Quan, Fernando D. Martinez, Stefano Guerra. “Persistent Insomnia is Associated with Mortality Risk.” The American Journal of Medicine, Vol. 128, Issue 3, p268–275.