Hispanics who have trouble sleeping may be at a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, according to a new study.

The study found a possible link between insomnia, prolonged sleep duration (more than nine hours of sleep) and a decline in neurocognitive functioning, which could precede Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, said Dr. Alberto R. Ramos, the lead author of the study and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Miami’s Miller School.

“This finding is particularly important because Hispanics have a significantly higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared with non-Hispanic whites,” Ramos said.

Alzheimer’s, one of the most common types of dementia, is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States and is the fifth most common cause of death for Americans 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than five million people had Alzheimer’s or another dementia in 2014, and the center expects these numbers will double by 2060. Hispanics, the country’s second-fastest growing racial or ethnic group, are projected to have the largest increase of Alzheimer’s or other dementia cases, according to a 2018 CDC study.

While non-Hispanic whites will still have the largest total numbers of Alzheimer cases, the center says African Americans and Hispanics have a higher risk of getting diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. By 2060, the center estimates there will be 3.2 million Hispanics and 2.2 million African Americans affected by the disease.

 

 

Hysterectomy may raise depression and anxiety risk

Women who have a hysterectomy may be at increased risk for depression and anxiety, a new study reports.

Researchers used medical records of 2,094 women who had had a hysterectomy without removal of the ovaries, matching them with the same number of women of the same age who had not had the operation. None of the surgeries were performed to treat cancer. They followed them for an average of 22 years.

Overall, a hysterectomy was associated with a 26% increased relative risk for depression and a 22% increased risk for anxiety. Women under 35 who had a hysterectomy were at a 47% increased risk for depression and a 45% increased risk for anxiety. The reason for the operation — fibroids, menstrual disorders or uterine prolapse — did not affect the association.

The observational study, in the journal Menopause, controlled for dementia, substance use disorders, hypertension, coronary artery disease, arthritis, all types of cancer and more than a dozen other mental and physical conditions.

“Hysterectomy is right for some women,” said the lead author, Dr. Shannon K. Laughlin-Tommaso, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Mayo Clinic. “But there is this 4 to 6% of women who will be affected by depression or anxiety. We’re hoping women will talk with their doctors and see if there’s any alternative they could use instead.”

For people who regularly work long hours - defined as more than 10 hours a day for at least 50 days a year - a recent study suggests an increased risk of stroke.

According to research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, working such long hours is associated with 29 percent greater risk stroke than are those who work less. Log long hours for 10 years and the risk appeared to be rise to 45 percent more than for those who work less.

Previous studies have found that irregular shifts, night work and job stress can have negative health effects. In this case, the study did not consider the nature of people’s work but focused instead on work duration and used data from 143,592 full-time workers. So how much should people work? The answer depends, of course, on factors that may include someone’s financial situation, family needs and career goals. But to gain the psychological benefits that paid employment often brings - improved self-esteem, social networking, life satisfaction, for instance - one day a week may be enough, according to another study, published online in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

Those researchers tracked 71,113 people, 16 to 64 years old, as they changed working hours over a nine-year span. They found that the risk for mental health problems fell by 30 percent when people who had been unemployed or stay-at-home parents started doing paid work for up to eight hours a week, the equivalent of one day. From a purely psychological point of view, working more hours provided no further psychological boost, the researchers found.