Asthma

Updated 12 December 2016

Insomnia has negative effect on asthma

Researchers found that more than a third of adults with asthma also had significant insomnia. Those with insomnia had worse lung function, weighed more and earned less.

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Insomnia is common in adults with asthma and tied to worse asthma control and other health problems, a new study finds.

Reduced quality of life

University of Pittsburgh researchers found that 37 percent of adults with asthma also had significant insomnia. Those with insomnia had worse lung function. They also weighed more. And they tended to have lower incomes than those without insomnia, the study found.

Insomnia was also linked to a reduced asthma-specific quality of life. People with asthma and trouble sleeping had more depression and anxiety symptoms, the study found. They also needed more asthma-related health care in the past year.

Read: Asthma attack

The study was published in the journal Chest.

Although the study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship, the researchers suggested that their findings show that insomnia affects people with asthma. They also said that evaluation and treatment of insomnia should be considered for people with asthma.

Additional research needed

"Our results show that poor sleep may not be solely due to nighttime awakenings due to asthma symptoms but may represent comorbid insomnia," study lead author Faith Luyster said in a journal news release. She is an assistant professor in the university's School of Nursing.

Comorbid insomnia refers to sleep troubles that occur at the same time as asthma, but aren't caused by the asthma. Luyster said co-occurring insomnia appears to significantly affect asthma outcomes, such as quality of life and the need for health care.

The study authors said additional research is needed to learn more about the association between insomnia and asthma control.

Read more:

Who gets asthma? (Prevalence)

Debunking asthma myths

Mouldy homes trigger asthma

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Professor Keertan Dheda has received of several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others.Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute

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