Martin O’Donnell

Common symptoms of sleep disturbance have been found to be associated with increased risk of stroke, in a recent analysis of PHRI’s landmark international case-control study of risk factors for stroke, INTERSTROKE, published in Neurology.

Overall, 4,496 matched INTERSTROKE participants were included, with 1,799 of participants having experienced an ischemic stroke and 439 an intracerebral hemorrhage.

The following common symptoms were found, in the study, to be associated with increased odds of acute stroke:

  • Short sleep (less than 5 hours)
  • Long sleep (more than 9 hours)
  • Impaired quality of sleep
  • Difficulty getting to sleep, or maintaining sleep
  • Unplanned napping
  • Prolonged napping (more than an hour)
  • Snoring; snorting; and breathing cessation

Investigators of the case-control study found that “these symptoms may be markers of increased individual risk, or represent independent risk factors for acute stroke,” writes PHRI Senior International Fellow, Martin O’Donnell, National University of Ireland, Galway, who is the paper’s senior author.

“Future clinical trials are warranted to determine the efficacy of sleep interventions in stroke prevention.”

See the publication in Neurology.

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