Staying Up Late Increases Risk Of Heart Disease, Study Shows

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A recent study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden suggests that individuals with a habit of staying up late, commonly referred to as “night owls,” face a significantly higher risk of heart attack. The research indicates that these night owls are nearly twice as likely to develop artery calcification relative to individuals who are early risers.

Arterial calcification hinders blood flow in arteries

Artery calcification, also known as atherosclerosis, is a gradual buildup of fatty deposits inside arteries, hindering blood flow and potentially leading to serious health issues such as chest pain (angina), blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.

The recent study involving 771 individuals aged 50 to 64, part of the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study (SCAPIS), used computer tomography to assess coronary artery calcification. Participants reported their sleep habits or “chronotype” on a scale from extreme morning to extreme evening types.

Extreme morning types among 771 participants exhibited the least percentage (22.2%) of pronounced artery calcification, while the extreme evening type group had the highest incidence of severe coronary artery calcification (40.6%). The study suggests a potential link between the extreme evening chronotype and cardiovascular issues, particularly coronary artery calcification.

Extreme evening chronotype linked affects cardiovascular health

Study author Mio Kobayashi Friska emphasizes the association between the extreme evening chronotype and both general cardiovascular health and the specific process leading to artery calcification.

The research considered multiple factors affecting artery calcification risk, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, physical activity, body weight, sleep quality, stress, and smoking habits. Additionally, the study revealed that the individual circadian rhythm is a significant risk factor for artery calcification, particularly in the early stages of the disease. The findings suggest that circadian rhythm should be considered in the preventive treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

According to the study, the midpoint of half the night’s sleep for different chronotypes, noting extreme morning types at 2:55 a.m. and extreme evening types at 4:25 a.m. The research which was part of SCAPIS, a global project focusing on cardiac, vascular, and pulmonary diseases, involved health examinations of 30,000 randomly selected Swedes aged 50 to 64.

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