According to Medscape, disrupted sleep during the transition to menopause appears to be associated with an increased risk for carotid atherosclerosis.
“In our study, shorter sleep time and poor subjective sleep quality were linked to significantly higher odds of carotid plaque in pre- and postmenopausal women,” said Rebecca Thurston, PhD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.
“At this point, we don’t know if these are causal associations, but if they are, there are several effective interventions to improve sleep, from pharmaceutical agents, to cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, to practicing good sleep hygiene,” she told Medscape Medical News.
The results of the study were presented at the North American Menopause Society 2016 Annual Meeting in Orlando.
Dr Thurston and her team assessed 256 peri- and postmenopausal women who had an intact uterus and at least one ovary. The study participants were 40 to 60 years of age, did not smoke, did not work the night shift, and had no history of clinical cardiovascular disease.