Tennessee: A new study suggests that irregular sleep habits can increase the risk of arterial closure in older people.
According to researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee, people who go to sleep at different times throughout the week or get the same amount of sleep every night may have an increased risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which lubricant material accumulates in the blood vessels.
This accumulated material narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow, which in turn limits access to oxygen and other components to the rest of the body or causes blood clots in the arteries that can close the blood vessels and cause a heart attack or stroke.
Researchers examined 2,000 people from all over the United States and kept them under observation for three years. The average age of these people was 69 years.
In the study, researchers found that over a one-week period, participants who had a difference of more than two hours of sleep duration were 40 percent more likely to accumulate material in their arteries.
These people were also 12 percent more likely to accumulate fat content in the neck arteries and were almost twice as likely to have abnormal results from the atherosclerosis test.
Participants who had irregular sleep and a difference of more than 90 minutes per week in their sleep times had a higher content of calcium than those with a 30-minute difference in the arteries that carry blood to their hearts.