Poor Sleep Linked to Risk of Falls in Elderly Women
Short sleep increases risk of two or more falls over one-year period by more than 50 percent
TUESDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly women, short sleep and sleep fragmentation are independently associated with an increased risk of falls, according to study findings published in the Sept. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Katie L. Stone, Ph.D., of the California Pacific Medical Center and San Francisco Coordinating Center, and colleagues collected wrist actigraphy data for a minimum of three consecutive 24-hour periods in 2,978 mostly community-dwelling women (mean age 84).
Compared to women who slept more than seven or eight hours per night, the researchers found that those who slept five or fewer hours per night had a significantly increased incidence of having two or more falls during the next year (odds ratio 1.52). They found that this association was independent of other risk factors for falls, such as benzodiazepine use. They also found that women who spent less than 70 percent of time in bed asleep had an increased risk of falls (OR, 1.36).
"Future studies, in particular randomized trials, are needed to determine the effects of newer pharmaceutical interventions for insomnia (e.g., benzodiazepine receptor agonists) or cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia on risk of falls," the authors conclude. "In addition, future studies using comprehensive and objective measures of sleep should examine the interrelationships between specific sleep characteristics (e.g., sleep-related breathing disorder, hypoxia, and measures of sleep duration and fragmentation) to determine if these disorders contribute independently toward risk of falls."
Several of the study authors report financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.