Daytime Napping Increases Stroke Risk

Armen Hareyan's picture

Elderly who regularly nap during daytime have increased risk of stroke and other vascular events, such as heart attack.

Bernadette Boden-Albala from Columbia University in New York studied 2153 adults with average age of 73, all living in New York City and never had stroke. The adults were surveyed about how often they doze in daytime while doing general things like TV watching, sitting quietly, reading, sitting in a car while waiting in traffic. About 44% of adults reported no napping at all, 47% some napping, 9% significant.


After two years the adults were checked for stroke. Those who have some napping reported 2.6 times greater risk for stroke, those who have significant napping reported 4.5 times greater risk. The risk for vascular events was also high among dozers. There were 40 strokes and 127 other vascular events during the two years.

Stroke cases occur about 780000 times annually in US, 150000 sufferers die. As stroke prevention method scientists suggest daily aerobics and fitness.

Previous studies have already shown link between sleep apnea and stroke. However, more research needs to be done do find out how exactly sleep disorders affect stroke risk.

"These authors report a potentially important association between daytime dozing, which should correlate with excessive daytime drowsiness," said Dr. Steven V. Pacia, director of neurology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "It is not clear why this is a marker of stroke."