Study: Insomnia increases risk of developing asthma

Sleep problems can increase the risk of asthma in adulthood
Asthma is a common disease these days. In Germany too, many young and old people have asthma. Researchers have now found that insomnia can be a risk factor for developing asthma in adulthood.

The researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that insomnia can greatly increase the risk of asthma in adults. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "European Respiratory Journal".

What triggers asthma?
Asthma is a chronic respiratory illness. The disease has already been linked to obesity and air pollution. Smoking, allergies, viral infections and exposure to certain types of dust and chemicals also increase the risk of developing asthma, the Norwegian experts explain. There are even new studies that have linked asthma to depression and anxiety in adults.

How Does Insomnia Affect?
What is sleep disorders? Insomnia defines difficulties in initiating or maintaining sleep, or a poor overall sleep quality, the doctors explain. Sleep disorders are particularly common in asthma patients.

Physicians analyze the link between asthma risk and insomnia
For their research, the scientists examined the data from the so-called Nord-Tr√łndelag Health Study (HUNT). This study provides a continuous health overview of the entire population of Nord-Tr√łndelag in Norway over a period of over 20 years. The doctors analyzed the connection between asthma risk and insomnia.

The risk of asthma is three times higher in people with chronic insomnia
The study examined a total of 17,927 participants between the ages of 20 and 65. Subjects with insomnia reported difficulty falling asleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, and poor sleep quality, the experts say. Participants were asked about their insomnia problems at the beginning and end of the study. Doctors found that the risk of asthma was three times higher in people with chronic insomnia.

How much do different forms of insomnia affect the risk of asthma?
When people in the study reported that they often had trouble falling asleep in the past month, the risk of developing asthma increased by about 65 percent in the following eleven years, the authors explain. If they had difficulty falling asleep almost every night, the risk increased by as much as 108 percent compared to people without sleep disorders. When subjects reported poor sleep quality more than once a week, they were 94 percent more likely to develop asthma.

Sleep disorders cause changes in the body with harmful effects
Ultimately, people with chronic insomnia were three times more likely to develop asthma than people without insomnia. The results suggest that any changes in the body due to sleep disorders can lead to harmful effects on the respiratory tract.

More research is needed
Increasing focus on the adverse health effects of insomnia could help prevent asthma, the doctors say. However, further prospective studies are required to confirm the results of the current study. (as)

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