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Snoring, already linked in many studies to increased risk of heart disease in men, is also a problem for women, according to a report in this week's Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Women who snored regularly were 33 percent more at risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who did not, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston said.

Occasional snorers were 20 percent more at risk, according to the researchers, who examined 71,779 women, with eight years of follow-up, as part of the Nurses' Health Study.

Women who reported snoring were more likely to sleep on their backs, smoke cigarettes, use alcohol and work night shifts. They also tended to be slightly older, heavier, less physically active and have more hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol, the study found.

"Even after researchers controlled for such variables, a significant positive association between snoring and cardiovascular disease persisted," Brigham and Women's researchers said in a statement.

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