Courtesy  Fropky

Late to bed and early to rise could well be the New Age recipe for heart disease. It is no longer only what you eat and drink that determines your ill-health.

Sleep deprivation is also emerging as a key reason for heart ailments. Recent research from London shows a person who sleeps less than six hours a night has a 48% higher risk of developing or dying from heart disease. This could hold true for Mumbaikars too, say doctors.

Cardiologist Brian Pinto recalled the death of a friend’s 43-year-old son who collapsed on the road while jogging at 5.45am. “Youngsters are cutting down on sleep to accommodate more work hours and exercise. But without seven hours of sleep, this could spell disaster,” said Pinto.


Cardiologist A B Mehta said, “More than 60% of patients who land up in a hospital’s emergency room with a heart attack are first-timers who have never suspected they had heart disease. In many cases, excessive exercising and sleeplessness are common features.”

The University of Warwick studied 4.7 lakh people across eight countries, including the US, the UK and Japan, to establish this equation. “If you sleep less than six hours a night and have disturbed sleep you stand a 48% greater chance of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15% greater chance of developing or dying of a stroke,” the university team said. It added, ”Late to bed and early to rise is a ticking time bomb for health.”

In 2000, Hinduja Hospital’s Dr Zarir Udwadia studied the a disorder called obstructive sleep apnea and found 8% of 700 people who underwent a check-up at their hospital suffered from sleep apnea. “There is a strong risk factor between obstructive sleep apnea and hypertension. If a patient’s blood pressure is not controlled by medicines, then we recommend that he undergo a sleep pattern test as sleep apnea is most likely the cause,” he said.

Endocrinologist Shashank Joshi said, ”Sleeping less than five hours leads to diabesity (diabetes and obesity) in Mumbai.” He also adds that sleep of beyond 10 hours is harmful.

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