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HomeSleep MedicineSleep health problems significantly increase heart disease risk – South Florida University

Sleep health problems significantly increase heart disease risk – South Florida University

Each additional increase in self- reported sleep health problems – regularity, satisfaction, alertness during waking hours, timing of sleep, sleep efficiency and sleep duration – was associated with a 54% increased risk of heart disease, found a US study.

The University of South Florida-led study reviewed sleep data of 6,820 US adults with an average age of 53 who self-reported their sleep characteristics and heart disease history. Among the participants, 633 also wore a research device (actigraphy) around their wrist that captured sleep activity.

Researchers focused on multiple aspects of sleep health, such as regularity, satisfaction, alertness during waking hours, timing of sleep, sleep efficiency and sleep duration and linked them to physician- diagnosed heart disease. They found that each additional increase in self- reported sleep health problems was associated with a 54% increased risk of heart disease. The estimated risk of heart disease associated with an increase in sleep health problems was much higher for those who provided sleep data by both self-report and the research device. They had a 141% increase, a figure that could be perceived to be more accurate.

“These findings show the importance of assessing ‘co-existing sleep health problems’ within an individual to capture the risk of heart disease. This is one of the first studies showing that, among well-functioning adults in midlife, having more sleep health problems may increase the risk of heart disease,” said lead author Soomi Lee, assistant professor of ageing studies and director of the STEALTH lab at USF.

“The higher estimated risk in those who provided both self-report and actigraphy sleep data suggests that measuring sleep health accurately and comprehensively is important to increase the prediction of heart disease.”

The research team asked participants about their health, including if their physician confirmed a heart condition such as arrythmia, heart murmur or an enlarged heart. High blood pressure was not considered a diagnosis as it’s labelled a risk factor for heart disease rather than a heart disease condition. They also controlled for family history of heart disease and socio-demographic factors, such as race, sex, smoking, depression and physical activity.

Researchers found that while women reported having more sleep health problems, men were more likely to suffer heart disease – yet gender did not have an impact on the overall correlation between the two factors. They also found that black participants had more sleep health problems and a higher prevalence of heart disease than white participants, but the strong association between sleep health and heart disease did not differ by race in general.

Lee said while sleep health is important for all ages, the team focused on middle adulthood as it spans a longer period of time and consists of diverse and more stressful life experiences due to work and family roles. This is also when precursors for heart disease and age-related sleep issues begin to arise.

Since sleep health can be modified, researchers say these findings, which were published in the journal Scientific Reports, can contribute to future prevention strategies to mitigate the risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the US.

Study details

Sleep health composites are associated with the risk of heart disease across sex and race

Soomi Lee, Christina X. Mu, Meredith L. Wallace, Ross Andel, David M. Almeida, Orfeu M. Buxton, Sanjay R. Patel.

Published in Scientific Reports on 7 February 2022

Abstract
We examined whether subjectively and objectively measured sleep health composites have a relationship with heart disease. 6,820 adults (Mage = 53.4 years) from the Midlife in the United States study provided self-reported sleep characteristics and heart disease history. A smaller sample (n = 663) provided actigraphy sleep data. We tested two sleep health composites, based on self-report only and both self-report and actigraphy, across multiple sleep dimensions. We used a weighted sum approach, where higher scores indicated more sleep health problems. Modified Poisson regressions adjusted for sociodemographics and known risk factors. Having more sleep health problems was associated with a higher risk of heart disease using the self-report sleep health composite (aRR = 54%, P < .001) and the actigraphy/self-report composite (aRR = 141%, P < .001). Individual sleep dimensions of satisfaction, alertness, and efficiency (from the self-report composite) and regularity, satisfaction, and timing (from the actigraphy/self-report composite) were associated with the risk of heart disease. The effect size of each sleep health composite was larger than the individual sleep dimensions. Race moderated the association between the actigraphy/self-report sleep health composite and heart disease. There was no significant moderation by sex. Findings suggest poorer sleep health across multiple dimensions may contribute to heart disease risk among middle-aged adults.

 

Scientific Reports article – Sleep health composites are associated with the risk of heart disease across sex and race (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Accelerometer-derived sleep timing and CVD — UK Biobank cohort study

 

Troubled sleep link to increased risk of AD and bradyarrhythmia — UK Biobank data

 

Sleep duration's effect on elevated heart risk — ACC:2021

 

Work stress and impaired sleep linked to 3x higher CVD risk

 

 

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