An unexpected result appeared in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study I [1, 2]. Over one million volunteers had completed health questionnaires and were followed prospectively for 6 years. Those who said that they “usually get” 7–8 h sleep a night had the best survival rates. Volunteers who reported sleeping less than 7 h or more than 8 h had higher mortality rates. The same significant trend appeared in both sexes and in each of 13 age groups from 30–35 to over 90 years. However, the trends were most marked among subjects over 60 [2, 3]. Indeed, since most adult deaths occur in the elderly, 86% of the excess deaths associated with short or long reported sleep occurred among subjects over 60 at the start of follow-up. Among such subjects, 3.8% of all deaths were associated with long or short sleep, making this a rather powerful predictor, comparable to obesity, as a mortality risk factor.
KeywordsFatigue Obesity Dementia Flurazepam
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