Traumatic brain injuries can increase the risk of insomnia

HealthDay News – Veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) are at increased risk of developing sleep disorders, according to a study published online in Neurology March 3.

Yue Leng, MD, Ph.D., of the University of California at San Francisco, and colleagues compared patients diagnosed with TBI in the Veterans Health Administration system from October 1, 2001 to September 30, 2015 with veterans without it TBI, to study the relationship between TBI and subsequent risk for sleep disorders. Data were included for 98,709 veterans with TBI and 98,709 veterans without TBI (age 49 ± 20 years).

The researchers found that 23,127 veterans (19.6 percent) developed insomnia after an average follow-up of five years. After adjusting for demographics, education, income, and medical and psychiatric conditions (hazard ratio, 1.41), TBI patients were significantly more likely to develop sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, insomnia, hypersomnia, and sleep-related movement disorders (hazard ratios) 1.28, 1.50, 1.50 and 1.33). The association was stronger in mild TBIs, persisted after a two-year delay, and did not differ appreciably in the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Since sleep disorders affect people’s quality of life and rehabilitation process, it is important to develop strategies to identify these disorders early and prevent them from occurring after traumatic brain injury in order to improve people’s overall health and quality of life,” said Leng in a statement.

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