Sleep loss 'can affect efficacy of vaccines'
2 August 2012 16:08 in Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs
A new study led by a University of California - San Francisco (UCSF) researcher has highlighted the potential impact that poor sleep can have on vaccine immune responses.
The trial involved 125 people and was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, with each participant being administered with a standard three-dose hepatitis B vaccine and then monitored over several months.
Sleep diaries kept by the patients revealed that those who slept fewer than six hours on average per night were far less likely to mount antibody responses to the vaccine, thus undermining its protective qualities.
Lead author Dr Aric Prather, a clinical health psychologist at UCSF and UC Berkeley, said: "In time, physicians and other healthcare professionals who administer vaccines may want to consider asking their patients about their sleep patterns, since lack of sleep may significantly affect the potency of the vaccination."
Earlier this year, a study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham revealed that poor sleep patterns among older people are associated with an increased risk of suffering a stroke.
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