Washington: A new study claims that a good night's sleep can increase the benefit of exercise, healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption and non-smoking in their protection against cardiovascular disease (CVD).

According to results of a large population follow-up study, it showed that the combination of the four traditional healthy lifestyle habits was associated with a 57 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease (fatal and non-fatal) and a 67 percent lower risk of fatal events.

But, when "sufficient sleep" (defined as seven or more hours a night) was added to the other four lifestyle factors, the overall protective benefit was even further increased - and resulted in a 65 percent lower risk of composite CVD and 83 percent lower risk of fatal events.

"If all participants adhered to all five healthy lifestyle factors, 36 percent of composite CVD and 57 percent of fatal CVD could theoretically be prevented or postponed," the authors said.

"The public health impact of sufficient sleep duration, in addition to the traditional healthy lifestyle factors, could be substantial," they said.

The study is published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.


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