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Poor Sleep Patterns May Up Risk for Attacks in Adults With Asthma

Short sleepers more likely to have asthma attack, hospitalization, worse health-related quality of life

couple in bed

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Too little sleep or too much sleep is tied to more asthma attacks in adults, according to a study recently published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Faith S. Luyster, Ph.D., from the School of Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007 to 2012 waves; 1,389 participants) to examine the associations between sleep duration and patient-reported outcomes (i.e., asthma symptoms and attacks, activity limitation, and health-related quality of life) and health care use (i.e., asthma-specific and general).

The researchers found that 25.9 percent of respondents slept five or fewer hours, 65.9 percent slept six to eight hours, and 8.2 percent slept nine or more hours. Compared with normal sleepers, a higher proportion of both short and long sleepers reported having an asthma attack in the past year (45 percent versus 59 and 51 percent, respectively) and had more days with an impaired health-related quality of life (e.g., more days of poor physical and mental health and inactive days due to poor physical or mental health). Furthermore, short sleepers had a greater likelihood of an overnight hospitalization during the past year compared with normal and long sleepers.

"This study adds solid evidence to the practice of asthma patients discussing sleep issues with their allergist to help determine if they need to change their asthma plan to achieve adequate sleep as a component of overall good asthma management," Gailen D. Marshall, M.D., Ph.D., editor-in-chief of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, said in a statement. "It also warns that consequences can be expected when sleep patterns are chronically inadequate."

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