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The link between insomnia and high cholesterol

Dyslipidemia (otherwise known as high cholesterol) is a risk factor for a number of conditions, including stroke and heart disease.

A recent Chinese study suggests that insomnia is associated with higher rates of dyslipidemia - particularly among women.

The study in question involved over 10,000 Chinese adults who were asked to categorize their insomnia.

After accounting for factors such as age, gender, education, obesity, body mass index, physical activity, smoking habits, drinking habits, diabetes, and hypertension, researchers found that among men:

53.3% without insomnia suffered from high cholesterol, 54.3% with occasional insomnia suffered from high cholesterol and 54.5% with frequent insomnia suffered from high cholesterol.

Among women:

52% without insomnia suffered from high cholesterol, 54.8% with occassional insomnia suffered from high cholesterol and 61.2% with frequent insomnia suffered from high cholesterol.

The authors concluded that while the association between insomnia and cholesterol is not significant in men, frequent insomnia is associated with a greater prevalence of high cholesterol in women.

It's important to remind ourselves that this study did not prove (or attempt to prove) cause and effect. It simply determined that an association exists between high cholesterol and self reported insomnia.

Additional research is required before we can determine whether insomnia causes high cholesterol (or vice versa).

Source: BMC Public Health

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Last updated: December 19, 2014

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

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