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Study Finds No Link Between Insomnia and Hypertension

Update Date: Jun 25, 2014 09:50 AM EDT

Insomnia, which is a sleeping disorder characterized by having difficulty falling asleep, is not linked to hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, a new study reported. The new data out of St. Michael's hospital revealed that people suffering from the disorder do not have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

For this study, the team headed by Dr. Nicholas Vozoris examined almost 13,000 Americans who were a part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The survey consisted of a series of studies that examined the health of children and adults via interviews and physical examinations. The researchers looked at information about the participants' insomnia symptoms, hypertension and prescription drug use.

"After adjusting for many factors, including whether or not participants were receiving blood pressure pills or sleeping pills, there were generally no associations between insomnia and high blood pressure, even among people who were suffering from insomnia the most often," Dr. Vozoris concluded according to the press release. "These results should reassure patients and their doctors that insomnia and high blood pressure are unlikely to be linked."

Dr. Vozoris added that the study's findings suggest that doctors do not have to worry too much about any side effects that insomnia medications might have on the heart. Instead, doctors can prescribe what they think is the best medication for their patients and focus on improving their patients' insomnia. Roughly 30 percent of adults suffer from insomnia.

"By showing there is no link between this very common sleep disorder and high blood pressure, physicians can be more selective when prescribing sleeping pills and refrain from prescribing these medications from a cardio-protective perspective," Dr. Vozoris said.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

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