Burning the candle at both ends can damage heart health

9 February 2011

Doctors have warned that late nights and early starts have created a heart health "ticking timebomb".

According to researchers from Warwick University, the pressures of modern day life - including work and family commitments - mean that many people rise at dawn and don't slow down until midnight.

They found that sleeping for less than six hours a night boosts the risk of a person dying from heart disease by 48 per cent.

Lack of sleep also increases a person's stroke risk by 15 per cent.

Led by Professor Francesco Cappuccio, professor of cardiovascular medicine and epidemiology, and Dr Michelle Miller, lecturer in clinical sciences, the research, published in the European Heart Journal, showed that sleeping between seven and eight hours was the optimum level in health terms.

Professor Cappuccio said: "There is an expectation in today's society to fit more into our lives.

"But in doing so, we are significantly increasing the risk of suffering a stroke or developing cardiovascular disease resulting in, for example, heart attacks."

Recent research published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that those suffering from heart problems can benefit from over-the-phone counselling.


1 Cappuccio, Francesco et al. "Sleep duration predicts cardiovascular outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies". European Heart Journal. Monday, February 7th 2011.

2 Nolan, Robert et al. "Therapeutic Benefit of Preventive Telehealth Counseling in the Community Outreach Heart Health and Risk Reduction Trial". The American Journal of Cardiology. January 2011.

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