Insomnia Boosts Risk of Death in Motor Vehicle

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People that suffer from insomnia are at a much higher risk of dying in a motor vehicle accident or other unintentional fatal injury.

Lars Laugsand, MD, PhD, of the Norwegian University of Science in Technology in Trondheim, Norway, and colleagues analyzed data from more than 54,000 people between 20 and 89 years old. A national registry was used to determine cause of death.

People who had trouble falling asleep over a long period were more than twice as likely to die from a motor vehicle accident compared to those with no sleep troubles, the researchers reported in the journal Sleep. They also found insomniacs were 1.5 times more likely to die from any fatal injury compared to those who slept normally.

Further analysis showed that difficulty falling asleep contributed to 34% of all motor vehicle deaths.

“Increasing public health awareness about insomnia and identifying and treating people with insomnia may be important in preventing unintentional fatal injuries,” the researchers concluded.

In the U.S., there are over 126,000 unintentional injury deaths annually, making it the fifth leading cause of death, according to the CDC. There are also more than 33,000 motor vehicle deaths each year.

Insomnia Linked to Increased Risk of Motor Vehicle Deaths
Insomnia Linked to Increased Risk of Motor Vehicle Deaths

New research shows that insomnia is a major contributor to deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes and other unintentional fatal injuries.

A new study from researchers in Norway shows that the risk of unintentional fatal injury increased with the number of insomnia symptoms present. People with three symptoms of insomnia were 2.8 times more likely to die from a fatal injury than those with no insomnia symptoms, even after adjusting for potential factors such as alcohol consumption and daily use of sleep medication.

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