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Insufficient and Excess Sleep can Increase the Risk of Heart Attack

In terms of the relationship between sleep and heart attack, previous observational research determined that sleep duration has an impact on the risk of heart attack among individuals. The only difference between previous studies and current research is that the prevailing researchers have access to DNA data and participants conversant with genetic risk of cardiovascular malady. Based on the research conducted by Daghlas et al. (1), there were 5,218 heart attacks registered by the 461,347 male and female participants aged between forty years and sixty-nine years. The proportion of the participants with low genetic risk of getting a cardiovascular disease and poor sleep duration registered a thirty-percent score in terms of their risk of experiencing a heart attack. The participants with high genetic risk of getting heart disease expressed a significantly higher risk of suffering from a heart attack compared to their counterparts with low genetic risk. In this regard, sleep pattern or sleep duration can have significant effect on mortality and health since while genes cannot be altered, people can modify their sleep patterns.

Analysis of the data from the participants is critical to finding accurate results. In this study, the researchers employed Mendelian randomization that entailed analyzing genetic variants to ascertain whether specific factors are associated with a heart attack. Since this method produces more reliable outcomes, the result of the association between heart attack and sleep duration depicts a direct relationship. More specifically, the participants who slept for more than nine hours every night were thirty-four percent more likely to experience a heart attack. Moreover, individuals who slept for less than six hours were twenty percent more likely to experience a heart attack. These findings imply that the more individuals fall outside the 6 to 9-hour range, the higher their risk of suffering a heart attack.Insufficient and Excess Sleep can Increase the Risk of Heart Attack

Even though the findings of this study held after contemplating thirty prospectively influencing factors, for instance, physical activity, mental health, body composition, and socioeconomic status among others, some critics challenge the accuracy of the outcomes. For example, Fottrell (1) reports that the relationship between mood and sleep is intricate given that disrupted sleep can result in clinical depression, emotional changes, or anxiety. Nonetheless, these conditions can also facilitate or increase sleep disruption. Based on this understanding, individuals who suffer from anxiety and depression can also oversleep or experience disrupted sleep. Based on the effects of these factors, some researchers cast doubt on the accuracy of the assertion that too much or too little sleep increases the risk of heart attack.

The main point of the critics is that other factors such as depression, stress, anxiety, and financial problems can cause oversleeping or little sleep. When people fail to sleep for a minimum of six hours a day, they put themselves at risk of suffering heart attacks. However, while this finding may point towards a direct relationship between sleep duration and heart attack, other factors that affect sleep can be equally regarded as putting individuals at risk of experiencing a heart attack. Thus, from the perspective of econometric analysis, it is safe to assert that previous and current research on the relationship between sleep duration and heart attack could be hasty in presenting inconclusive results due to the presence of selection bias and omitted variable bias. Given that these studies omit some variables such as depression, anxiety, stress and the level of income and number of jobs of the participants, critics reiterate that they cannot unequivocally state that insufficient or excess sleep can put people at risk of experiencing a heart attack.Insufficient and Excess Sleep can Increase the Risk of Heart Attack

















Works Cited

Daghlas, Iyas, et al. “Sleep Duration and Myocardial Infarction.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol. 74, no. 10, 2019, doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2019.07.022.

Fottrell, Quentin. “Sleeping Too Much Can Be Just as Damaging to Your Health as Having Too Little.” MarketWatch, 9 Dec. 2018,