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Insomnia is known to be a condition which accompanies various sleep, medical and psychiatric disorders. It mainly causes difficulty in falling asleep and/or difficulty staying asleep and is followed by functional impairment while awake. Individuals with chronic insomnia have an increased risk of death says a new study. Experts associated with the study share that insomnia is expected to have an unconstructive impact on sleep quality and it may stimulate people to take the necessary treatment.

The study indicates that adjusted hazard ratio related to all-cause death was three times greater in people with chronic insomnia as compared to people who were not affected with insomnia. The expected death risk ratios were tweaked for body mass index, age and sex as well as for self-reported medical conditions such as chronic bronchitis, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and depression.

Individuals with subtypes of insomnia were analyzed and it was revealed that their risk of death increased. It was further observed that the risk of death was two to three times higher in four subtypes. These subtypes included individuals affected with chronic early-awakening insomnia, chronic sleep-maintenance insomnia who had difficulty getting back to sleep, chronic sleep-onset insomnia, and chronic sleep-maintenance insomnia who woke up repeatedly during the night.

“The most surprising result was the increased high risk for mortality among individuals with chronic insomnia versus those without insomnia, even after adjustment for all of the potential confounding variables” said lead author Laurel Finn, biostatistician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The other important finding was the non-differentiation between subtypes of insomnia with respect to mortality risk.”

This study included 2,242 participants in the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study and these participants had completed two to three mailed surveys for 1989, 1994 and 2000. If these participants reported insomnia on any two surveys then they were expected to be affected with chronic insomnia. According to a social security death index search in May 2010 it was revealed that 128 participants had died during a follow-up period of 19 years. Experts share that even in absence of co-morbid health problems physicians are required to provide effective treatments for insomnia.

This study was presented on Monday on, June 7, 2010, in San Antonio, Texas, at Sleep 2010, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.