Poor sleepers may be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Chinese researchers used data on 487,200 people ages 30-79, followed for an average of 10 years. The study, which is in Neurology, found that difficulty falling asleep was associated with a 9% increased relative risk for cardiovascular disease, early morning awakening with a 7% increased risk, and daytime sleepiness with a 13% increased risk. Compared with those who had no sleep problems, those with all three symptoms had an 18% increased relative risk.
Omega-3s have little depression benefit
Some studies, and many ads, suggest that omega-3 supplements are helpful for improving mental health. But a systematic review of research has found the supplements are probably ineffective for depression and anxiety. The analysis, in the British Journal of Psychiatry, included a broad range of long-term trials of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish like salmon and other foods. Neither length of treatment nor size of dosage demonstrated effectiveness.
Drug OK’d to reduce sickle cell flare-ups
U.S. regulators approved a medicine that can help halve occurrence of painful sickle cell disease flare-ups. Novartis AG’s Adakveo is approved for patients 16 and older. The monthly infusion will carry a list price of $85,000 to $113,000 per year. Insured patients generally will pay less. The disease is one of the most common inherited blood disorders, affecting about 100,000 Americans. Its hallmark is episodes in which red blood cells stick together, blocking blood from organs and small blood vessels. That causes pain and cumulative organ damage.