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New Study Reveals Surprising Link Between Sleep Habits and Asthma Risk.


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A 10-year study found that lack of sleep can trigger an inflammatory response in the body, increasing the risk of developing asthma.

Bronchial asthma affects about 300 million people worldwide. Scientists don’t know why some people develop this condition, although most cases are linked to genetic, environmental, and occupational causes.

A team from Shandong University in China used data from the British Biobank to survey half a million people with varying sleep patterns over a 10-year period ranging in age from 38 to 73.

Experts found that a healthy sleep pattern was associated with a lower risk of developing asthma, while less sleep led to an increased likelihood of a diagnosis.

The results showed that low genetic risk, combined with healthy sleep, could prevent about a fifth of asthma cases.

The scientists said: “The study highlights the importance of early detection and treatment of sleep disorders, which may be helpful in reducing the incidence of asthma.”

At the beginning of the study, participants were asked about their sleep patterns, including whether they were early risers (early and early birds) or night owls (those who tend to stay up late at night), how long they slept, and whether they snore whether they suffer from insomnia, and whether they suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness.

Healthy sleep was defined as “early bird,” seven to nine hours of sleep a night, insomnia infrequent, no snoring, and infrequent naps during the day.

Based on participants’ responses, 16% had healthy sleep, 62% had average sleep, and 22% had poor sleep.

One-third of the participants had a high genetic risk for developing asthma, another third had an average risk, and a final third had low-risk cases.

Compared with people at low genetic risk, people at the highest genetic risk were 47% more likely to develop asthma, and people with poor sleep were 55% more likely to develop asthma.

Healthy sleep reduces the risk of developing asthma by 44% in low genetic risk individuals, by 41% in moderate risk individuals, and by 37% in high genetic risk individuals.

According to a study published in BMJ Open Respiratory, over the 10 years of the study, 4% of participants were diagnosed with asthma.

These people are more likely to have certain traits, including poor sleep, obesity, a higher genetic risk for asthma, higher levels of smoking and drinking, higher blood pressure, and increased exposure to polluted air, the researchers said.

Source: Independent

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