Insomnia, longer sleep periods linked to Alzheimer's in Hispanics

A study partly funded by NHLBI shows potential link between bad quality sleep and Alzheimer’s disease in Hispanics/Latinos. According to the findings, published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, long periods of sleep - more than nine hours - and chronic insomnia are particular risk factors for Alzheimer's and other dementias in this population.

"Insomnia, and prolonged sleep duration appear to be linked to a decline in neurocognitive functioning that can precede the onset of Alzheimer's disease or other dementias," said lead author Alberto R. Ramos, M.D., MSPH, Associate professor of neurology. "This finding is particularly important because Hispanics have a significantly higher risk of Alzheimer's disease compared with non-Hispanic whites."

The researchers analyzed data from the NHLBI-funded Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, a cohort that includes approximately 16,000 Latinos from diverse backgrounds at four major urban centers located in Chicago, Miami, San Diego and the Bronx in New York City.