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Some Hospitalized Heart Patients Report Frequent Nightmares

Frequent nightmares associated with depression, anxiety, insomnia but not cardiovascular medications, sleep-disordered breathing

hospital patient in bed

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Frequent nightmares can occur in some patients hospitalized with cardiovascular (CV) diseases and are associated with depression, anxiety, and insomnia, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.

Haruaki Horie, Ph.D., from the Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo, and colleagues examined nightmares and sleep characteristics among 1,233 patients hospitalized for various CV diseases in a single university hospital.

The researchers found that 14.8 percent of the patients had at least one nightmare per month and 3.6 percent had at least one nightmare per week (frequent nightmares). In this cohort, 45.9 percent had insomnia, 28.0 percent had sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), 18.5 percent had depression, and 16.9 percent had anxiety. There was no association noted for frequent nightmares with CV medications and SDB, but associations were seen with depression, anxiety, and insomnia (odds ratios, 4.61, 5.32, and 7.15, respectively).

"The association of frequent nightmares with psychological disturbances and insomnia was significant in our CV cohort, which was consistent with several population-based cohort studies," the authors write. "These findings suggest that their associations might be universal regardless of the presence of CV diseases."

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