Poor sleep length and quality increases the risk of atherosclerosis


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Sleeping for less than six hours and having fragmented sleep are independently associated with an increased risk of subclinical multiterritory atherosclerosis, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology,

The study included 3,974 participants from the Progression of Early Subclinical Atherosclerosis (PESA) study in Spain who wore an actigraph for seven days to measure their sleep. They were divided into four groups: those who slept less than six hours, those who slept six to seven hours, those who slept seven to eight hours and those who slept more than eight hours. Participants underwent 3-dimensional (3D) vascular ultrasound and cardiac computed tomography (CT).

The study found participants who slept less than six hours had a higher atherosclerotic burden with 3D vascular ultrasound compared to the reference group who slept seven to eight hours (odds ratio [OR] 1.27; 95% CI 1.06-1.52; P.008). Participants in the highest quintile of sleep fragmentation had a higher prevalence of multiple affected noncoronary territories (odds ratio [OR] 1.34; 95% CI 1.09- 1.64; P.006).

The authors said "recommending a good sleep hygiene should be part of the lifestyle modifications provided in our daily clinical practice".

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