Insomnia Could Be Potential Risk for Intracranial Aneurysm


Results of a study by the American Heart Association show a genetic predisposition may lead to an association between sleeplessness and brain bleeding.

Insomnia could be a potential risk factor for brain bleeding from a ruptured aneurysm, along with high blood pressure and smoking, the results of a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association show.

“The association between insomnia and intracranial aneurysm has not been reported previously, and these findings warrant confirmation in future studies,” Susanna Larsson, PhD, an associate professor in the unit of cardiovascular and nutritional epidemiology at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, said in a statement.

“Our research supports the thinking that risk factors that people can change or manage may impact brain aneurysms and hemorrhage risk,” she said.

“Once confirmed, future studies should examine ways to incorporate this knowledge into prevention programs and therapies.”

Results of the study show that a genetic predisposition for insomnia is associated with a 24% increased risk for intracranial aneurysm and aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

In addition to these findings, it was discovered that the risk for intracranial aneurysms is 3 times higher for each 10 mm Hg increase in diastolic blood pressure and 3 times more likely for those who smoke than those who do not smoke.

Data from several genome-wide association studies were used to determine the genetic associations, high blood pressure, and lifestyle risk factors in relation to intracranial aneurysms. Investigators identified nearly 6300 cases of intracranial aneurysms and nearly 4200 cases of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

The cases were compared with more than 59,500 controls to determine genetic predisposition for aneurysms.

The limitations included that there was not enough information to analyze some of the risk factors.


Insomnia may be a risk factor for highly fatal brain aneurysm rupture. EurekAlert. News release. November 3, 2021. Accessed November 3, 2021.

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