Researchers have found that the amount of sleep an individual gets can impact their risk of stroke, with race also playing a role in this relationship. The study revealed that both too little and too much sleep can influence stroke risk, but the effects differ based on a person’s race.
The study involved nearly 17,000 white and black Americans, with an average age of 64, with no stroke history. Over an average follow-up period of six years, 460 strokes occurred among the participants, with 172 occurring in black individuals and 288 in white individuals.
Interestingly, black men who slept six hours or less per night had an 80 percent lower risk of stroke than those considered average sleepers. On the other hand, white men who slept nine or more hours per night had a 70 percent higher risk of stroke than their average-sleeping counterparts.
Surprisingly, the amount of sleep did not affect stroke risk for black or white women, according to the study.
The researchers considered other stroke risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, and heart disease, when analyzing the results. However, it is essential to note that the study did not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship between sleep duration and stroke risk.
Study author Virginia Howard from the University of Alabama at Birmingham emphasized the need for further research to understand the mechanisms behind these race-specific associations. In the meantime, she underscored the importance of closely monitoring and controlling cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged to older individuals who experience long sleep periods.