Lack of sleep raises risk of heart disease, Mount Sinai study says

Consistently not getting enough sleep can throw off immune cell production long term, increasing the risk of heart disease and inflammatory disorders, according to a study from researchers at New York City-based Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The study, published Sept. 21 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, showed that insufficient sleep caused changes in immune stem cells' DNA structure, causing an overproduction of white blood cells. The changes persisted weeks after sleep habits were allowed to recover to a healthy level.

"This is important because it is yet another key observation that sleep reduces inflammation and, conversely, that sleep interruption increases inflammation,” lead author Filip Swirski, PhD, director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at Icahn Mount Sinai, said in a news release.

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