Sleep duration shorter or longer than 7 hours may be associated with increased cardiovascular (CV) health risks, according to study results published in the American Journal of Cardiology.
Although optimal sleep duration of 7 to 9 hours per night is essential to maintain CV health — with durations outside that range related to adverse health outcomes including CV disease — the impact of sleep duration on CV disease prevention is not addressed in current guidelines by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.
In this study, the data of 32,152 participants from the 2005-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who completed the sleep questionnaire, were retrospectively examined. The presence of hypertension, heart failure (HF), coronary artery disease (CAD), diabetes mellitus (DM), stroke, and hyperlipidemia were the study’s primary outcomes.
The cohort was divided according to sleep duration into short sleepers (n=12,027; mean age, 46.45±18.3 years; 50.8% women), optimal sleepers (n=19,067; mean age, 45.3±21.1 years; 52.2% women), and long sleepers (n=1058; mean age, 47.5±24.6 years; 54.7% women). At baseline, short- and long- vs optimal sleepers were older, had higher rates of depression, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, and higher body mass index (P <.0001 for all).
Multivariable logistic regression analyses adjusted for multiple sociodemographic and clinical factors indicated associations between short sleep duration and increased prevalences of hyperlipidemia (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04-1.22; P =.002), DM (OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.23-1.49; P <.0001), HF (OR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.40-1.95; P <.0001), and history of stroke (OR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.23-1.70; P <.0001). Long sleep durations were found to be independently associated with higher prevalences of HF (OR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.08-1.97; P =.01) and history of stroke (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.37-2.34; P <.0001).
Long vs short sleep duration was found to be associated with a history of HF (4.4% vs 6.0%, respectively; P = .03), CAD (3.9% vs 5.5%, respectively; P = .02) and stroke (4.4% vs 8.6%, respectively; P < .0001), based on survey responses.
Study limitations include potential unmeasured or residual confounders, the use of self-reported assessments lacking quantitative measurements, possible reporting bias, and a cross-sectional design that precludes causal inference.
“With further prospective studies, national guidelines may consider advocating for optimal sleep duration to reduce cardiovascular health risks,” noted the authors.
Krittanawong C, Kumar A, Wang Z, et al. Sleep duration and cardiovascular health in a representative community population (from NHANES, 2005 to 2016). Am J Cardiol. April 2020. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.04.012