February 12, 2007


Regular Naps Make Hearts Healthy (Lindsey Tanner, Feb. 12, 2007, Associated Press)

New research on napping provides the perfect excuse for office slackers, finding that a little midday snooze seems to reduce risks for fatal heart problems, especially among men.

In the largest study to date on the health effects of napping, researchers tracked 23,681 healthy Greek adults for an average of about six years. Those who napped at least three times weekly for about half an hour had a 37 percent lower risk of dying from heart attacks or other heart problems than those who did not nap.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 12, 2007 6:06 PM

So now we have to add naps to a heavy rotation of premium olive oils and Ouzo? Well . . . alright. If you say so.

Posted by: JR at February 12, 2007 7:15 PM

Just another example of a pointless study where the self-selection dictates the result.

The people prone to taking naps are merely of a mindset that allows them a differing worldview that is undoubtedly less stressful.

Take the guys who never napped out of their workspace and force them to nap, and they'll have even more heart attacks caused by worrying about the work not getting done.

Take the guys who nap regularly and make them keep working, and they will simply slow down their work in accordance with their worldview, and suffer no more heart attacks than if they napped.

Make me drink ouzo over my red wine or beer, and I'll pop the vein in my forehead.

Posted by: Bruno at February 12, 2007 7:28 PM

The number one predictor of heart attacks isn't lack of napping, nor is it cholesterol nor high blood pressure nor smoking. Them's all small taters compared to the big dog: job status. Low-status jobs lead to more heart attacks.

[Bruno, this one's not a self-selection mechanism either, as job-switches from high to low or vice-versa are accompanied by a change in the risk profile.]

See here, for example.

One clue about the possible explanation or pathways can be found in the analysis of coronary heart disease among male British civil servants. For a male under the age of 55, the risk of dying from a heart attack is four times greater if he is in the bottom tier of the job hierarchy than if he is in the top tier. Less than 25 per cent of the gradient in deaths from coronary heart disease across the different grades could be explained by conventional medical risk factors, such as cholesterol, smoking and high blood pressure.

Posted by: ras at February 12, 2007 9:40 PM

Bruno's right. Correlation is not causation.

Posted by: HT at February 12, 2007 11:08 PM

How about a nice glass of retsina?

Posted by: Pontius at February 13, 2007 1:00 AM