(HealthDay News) — Increased frequency of daytime napping might be a potential causal risk factor for hypertension and ischemic stroke, according to a study published online in Hypertension.

Min-jing Yang, from Xiangya Hospital in Changsha, China, and colleagues examined the association between daytime napping frequency and the incidence of essential hypertension or stroke among 358,451 participants from the UK Biobank. To validate the results of the observational analysis, a two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis was conducted for daytime napping frequency with essential hypertension in the FinnGen Biobank and stroke, especially ischemic stroke, in the MEGASTROKE consortium; a corresponding one-sample MR was performed on the UK Biobank data.

The researchers found that usually napping was associated with increased risks for essential hypertension, stroke, and ischemic stroke compared with never napping in the prospective observational analysis (hazard ratios, 1.12, 1.24, and 1.20, respectively). According to the one- and two-sample MR results, increased daytime napping frequency was likely to be a potential causal risk factor for essential hypertension in FinnGEN and the UK Biobank (odds ratios, 1.43 and 1.40, respectively). The potential causal effect of nap frequency on ischemic stroke was supported by two-sample MR results in MEGASTROKE (odds ratio, 1.29).

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“Our study, along with previous clinical studies, suggests that further examination of the mechanistic basis of the association between a healthy sleep pattern, including daytime napping, and cardiovascular disease is necessary,” the authors write.

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