Sleep Duration Linked to Ulcerative Colitis Risk

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Sleep Duration Linked to Ulcerative Colitis Risk
Sleep Duration Linked to Ulcerative Colitis Risk

(HealthDay News) -- Not getting the right amount of sleep might raise the risk of ulcerative colitis, according to a study published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Those who sleep less or more than the recommended seven to eight hours per night may be more prone to developing the chronic condition.

"Both short and long durations of sleep have important health implications, and are associated with increased overall mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer," study author Ashwin Ananthakrishnan, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said in an American Gastroenterological Association news release. "Our findings indicate that ulcerative colitis may potentially be added to this list," he said. "We found that less than six hours of sleep per day and more than nine hours of sleep per day are each associated with an increased risk of ulcerative colitis."

The study included women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study I in 1976 and the Nurses' Health Study II in 1989. Every other year, the women completed detailed questionnaires. The researchers noted the extended follow-up period allowed them to analyze the link between sleep and disease incidence.

In a previous study, the investigators also found that six months of poor sleep quality was associated with a two-fold increase in risk of flare-ups for Crohn's disease. "All these data together support a growing recognition of the impact of sleep disruption on the immune system, and the need for providers to frequently inquire about sleep duration and quality as an important parameter of health in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases," Ananthakrishnan noted.

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