Friday, December 18, 2009

Life, Death & Sleep

This week the CDC reported that in 2007 life expectancy at birth reached a record high of 77.9 years in the U.S.

Women (80.4 years) had a longer life expectancy than men (75.3 years). There also was a gap between the life expectancy of whites (78.3 years) and blacks (73.7 years).

Hawaii had the lowest age-adjusted death rate of all the states. West Virginia had the highest rate. In general, states in the Southeast had higher death rates than those in other regions of the country.

The three leading causes of death were heart disease, cancer and stroke. This order has not changed since 1980. But it is likely that cancer will overtake heart disease as the leading cause of death in the U.S. at some point in the near future.

Does sleep have anything to do with life expectancy? Research has found some intriguing connections.

Numerous studies have examined the relationship between sleep duration and mortality. A recent
review of the evidence linked short sleep duration with a 10-percent increase in the risk of death. Studies also have linked short sleep to an increased risk of diabetes, obesity and hypertension.

In October the CDC released new
survey data about the sleep of people in the U.S. The sleep data seem to correlate with the death-rate trends described above.

Hawaii had one of the highest age-adjusted percentages of people who always got enough sleep. Southern states had higher percentages of problem sleepers. The age-adjusted percentage of people who never got enough sleep was highest in West Virginia.

A recent study found increased mortality in people with insomnia and a short sleep duration. The highest risk of dying was in men with chronic insomnia who slept five to six hours.

And studies have repeatedly found that
obstructive sleep apnea is a serious health hazard. The UCLA Stroke Center reports that OSA is found in almost 50 percent of stroke patients.

People with sleep apnea have a higher
risk of heart disease. And having severe sleep apnea has been linked with a much higher risk of dying.

Get help for a sleep problem at an
AASM-accredited sleep center near you.

Image by Robin Ducker

No comments:

Post a Comment