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Scientists Link Insomnia To Asthma

Update Date: Feb 03, 2017 07:50 AM EST

New study suggests that insomnia may be a risk factor for developing asthma in adults. The study found that those with chronic insomnia had three times higher risk of developing asthma.

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs' airways and has been linked to obesity and air pollution. Smoking, allergies, viral infections, family history, and exposure to dust and chemicals can trigger asthma.

About 300 million people are affected by asthma worldwide. Recently, asthma has also been associated to depression and anxiety in adults.

The new study was published in the European Respiratory Journal by Norwegian scientists. The study consist a total of 17,927 participants aged between 20 and 65.  Researchers examined data from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT) which is a continuous survey of the population living in Nord-Trøndelag, Norway.

Participants were asked to report sleep initiation, maintenance problems and poor quality of sleep with asthma symptoms from the start and end of the study. The researchers calculated the risk of incident asthma among the adults who had insomnia and compared it with those who did not have insomnia.

According to Medical News Today, the study showed that participants who reported insomnia symptoms had a higher risk of developing asthma. Those who "often" had trouble falling asleep in the past month had 65 percent higher risk of developing asthma during the following 11 years. Those who had difficulty falling asleep "almost every night" had an even higher risk of 108 percent.

Those who had trouble maintaining sleep, waking up too early, and not being able to go back to sleep "often" and "almost every night" had a 92 and 36 percent risk of asthma onset during the 11 years. Those who reported poor sleep quality "more than once a week" had 94 percent higher risk. Those with chronic insomnia had three times higher risk of developing asthma.

Telegraph reported that researcher Dr Linn Beate Strand, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said "As insomnia is a manageable condition, an increased focus on the adverse health effects of insomnia could be helpful in the prevention of asthma."

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