Health & Wellness

New Study Shows Healthy Sleep Patterns Could Reduce Asthma Risk, Regardless of Genetic Susceptibility



A new study suggests that healthy sleep patterns may significantly reduce the risk of developing asthma, regardless of genetic susceptibility. The study, which analyzed data from 455,405 UK Biobank participants, found that individuals who slept for 7-9 hours per night and reported never or rare insomnia were less likely to develop asthma than those who had poor sleep quality.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder that affects millions of people, with symptoms including wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Previous research has suggested that sleep disturbances could be a risk factor for the development of asthma, but the relationship between sleep and asthma risk has not been fully understood.

The new study, led by researchers at the University of Leicester, is the largest analysis to date of how sleep patterns and genetics may impact asthma risk. The researchers used data from the UK Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database, to look at the genetic and environmental factors associated with asthma.

The analysis found that individuals with healthy sleep patterns had a lower risk of developing asthma, regardless of their genetic susceptibility. Specifically, those who slept for 7-9 hours per night had a 21% lower risk of asthma than those who slept for less than 7 hours or more than 9 hours per night.

Importantly, the study found that poor sleep quality could amplify genetic susceptibility to asthma. Individuals with a high genetic risk of asthma who reported poor sleep patterns were more than twice as likely to develop asthma as those with a low genetic risk who slept well.

The researchers say the findings suggest that early detection and treatment of sleep disorders could help reduce the risk of developing asthma, particularly in individuals with a genetic predisposition to the condition.

“This study highlights the importance of healthy sleep patterns in reducing the risk of asthma, even among those who are at increased genetic risk,” said Dr. Chris Imboden, lead author of the study. “It also suggests that addressing sleep disturbances may be an important strategy for preventing asthma, particularly in individuals with a genetic susceptibility to the disease.”

The study’s authors note that further research is needed to confirm these findings, and to determine the mechanisms by which sleep disturbances may influence asthma risk. However, the findings could have important implications for the prevention and treatment of asthma, a common and often debilitating respiratory condition.

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