Disturbed Sleep Linked to Heart Disease

Friday 6th August 2010

Disturbing the body's sleep-wake cycle could dramatically increase or lower triglyceride levels in the bloodstream and cause heart disease, according to a new report published in August edition of the journal Cell Metabolism.

Scientists at the State University of New York found that lab mice whose sleep-wake cycles were naturally or regularly disturbed were more likely to have higher blood-lipid levels and were more likely to be at higher risk of strokes and heart attacks as their blood vessels narrowed arteries as greater levels of fatty plaque deposits lined their artery walls.

Lab mice bred to have a 'broken body clock' seemed to have consistently high triglyceride and blood-lipid levels, whereas lab-mice with a regular sleep-wake cycle experienced healthy fluctuations.

Experts believe that the sleep research could be used to help target the delivery of time-sensitive drug therapies that will treat obesity as obese people also have high blood triglyceride levels.

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