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Insomniacs more likely to die early

health and fitness Updated: Sep 01, 2010 16:20 IST

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Men with severe insomnia are four times more likely to die early, a new research says.

Researchers followed 741 late middle-aged men over 14 years, four percent of whom had chronic insomnia.

Those men who suffered from insomnia were 4.3 times more likely to have died over that period than the others, reports the



Men who have hypertension (high blood pressure) or Type-2 diabetes (commonest form of diabetes) were seven times more likely to have died, according to the journal


But there was no increase in mortality among the eight percent of 1,000 women in the study who had chronic insomnia, defined as not being able to sleep regularly for more than six hours a night, for at least a year.

Alexandros Vgontzas, professor of psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine in the US, said: "The primary finding of our study is that insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, is associated with significant mortality in men."

"Until now no study has demonstrated that insomnia is associated with mortality."

The increased mortality rates for men were found after the results had been adjusted to take into account the participants' other risk factors, such as their body mass indices (BMI-a height to weight ratio), whether they smoked, how much alcohol they drank, and depression.

This indicates that insomnia itself could be causing early deaths, rather than being a proxy for something else at work.