Older Adults

Poor sleep quality and peptic ulcer disease (PUD, a condition when sores known as ulcers develop on the lining of your stomach or in the first part of your small intestine) are both major public health problems that affect the physical and psychological wellbeing of older adults.

Chronic health conditions

Poor sleep quality can be cause by age relate increases in chronic health conditions, medication use, sleep behavior changes, and other issues. It affects around one-third of all older adults. Peptic ulcers are common among older adults, too. They often result from the presence of a specific bacteria, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), in our gut.

Thanks to the development of treatments for H. pylori infections; however, the rate of recurrent peptic ulcers (ulcers that consistently come back after treatment) has drop dramatically. Few people who experience a recurrence of ulcers, for example, are infect with H. pylori. However, that still doesn’t explain why some people experience recurrence.

Recently, a team of researchers design a study to test their hypothesis; so that other factors besides the bacteria could cause peptic ulcer recurrence and that poor sleep may be among them. They publish their results in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The researchers enroll 1,689 patients with H. pylori infect peptic ulcer disease in their study. The participants receive a 10-day course; so of anti-H. pylori treatment, follow by a four-week anti-ulcer therapy.

Healed Peptic Ulcers

Four weeks after treatment was complete, patients were test and examine to see whether their ulcers had healed. The researchers report that 1,538 patients have achieve H. pylori eradication and had their peptic ulcers healed. These participants were then enroll in a sleep study. They wore monitors that provide information about the length and quality of their sleep.

The 1,420 participants who complete the follow-up study were mostly around 69 years old and had a normal body weight. The participants who experienced a recurrence of their peptic ulcer had higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, and excessive alcohol consumption than those who had no recurrence. They also took longer to fall asleep, slept poorly, woke more during the night, and rate their sleep as poor compare to the participants who didn’t have a recurrence of ulcers.

The researchers conclude that poor sleep quality does indeed appear to contribute to the recurrence of peptic ulcers. They suggested that their findings highlight the importance of properly treating and preventing sleep problems in older adults with previous H. pylori infect peptic ulcers. This summary is from “Effect of subjective and objective sleep quality on peptic ulcer recurrence in older adults.