Nav: Home

Short and fragmented sleep linked to hardened arteries

August 26, 2018

Munich, Germany - Aug 26, 2018: Sleeping less than six hours or waking up several times in the night is associated with an increased risk of asymptomatic atherosclerosis, which silently hardens and narrows the arteries, according to results of the PESA study1 presented today at ESC Congress 2018.2

Dr Fernando Dominguez, study author, of the Spanish National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Madrid, said: "Bad sleeping habits are very common in Western societies and previous studies have suggested that both short and long sleep are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, there is a lack of large studies that have objectively measured both sleep and subclinical atherosclerosis."

The PESA study enrolled 3,974 healthy middle-aged adults who wore a waistband activity monitor for seven days to record sleep quality and quantity. They were divided into five groups according to the proportion of fragmented sleep, and four groups designating average hours slept a night: less than six (very short), six to seven (short), seven to eight (the reference), and more than eight (long). Atherosclerosis was assessed in leg and neck arteries using three-dimensional ultrasound.

The average age of participants was 46 years and 63% were men. After adjusting for conventional cardiovascular risk factors and potential confounding factors, including age, gender, moderate to vigorous physical activity, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol consumption, blood pressure, education level, blood glucose levels, total cholesterol, total calorie consumption per day, marital status, stress and depression questionnaire scores and obstructive sleep apnoea risk (STOP-BANG score), very short sleepers had significantly more atherosclerosis than those who got seven to eight hours (odds ratio [OR] 1.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06-1.52, p=0.008) (see figure).

Those in the highest quintile of fragmented sleep were more likely to have multiple sections of arteries with atherosclerosis compared to those in the lowest quintile (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.09-1.64, p=0.006) (figure).

Dr Dominguez said: "People who had short or disrupted sleep were also more likely to have metabolic syndrome, which refers to the combination of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, and depicts an unhealthy lifestyle."

He concluded: "Failure to get enough sleep and restlessness during the night should be considered risk factors for blocking or narrowing of the arteries. Studies are needed to find out if sleeping well and long enough can prevent or reverse this effect on the arteries. In the meantime it seems sensible to take steps to get a good night's sleep - such as having a physically active lifestyle and avoiding coffee and fatty foods before bedtime."
-end-
Figure: Participants who slept less than six hours had more atherosclerosis

European Society of Cardiology

Related Blood Pressure Articles:

Do you really have high blood pressure?
A study by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) shows that more than half of family doctors in Canada are still using manual devices to measure blood pressure, a dated technology that often leads to misdiagnosis.
Why do we develop high blood pressure?
Abnormally high blood pressure, or hypertension, may be related to changes in brain activity and blood flow early in life.
For some, high blood pressure associated with better survival
Patients with both type 2 diabetes and acute heart failure face a significantly lower risk of death but a higher risk of heart failure-related hospitalizations if they had high systolic blood pressure on discharge from the hospital compared to those with normal blood pressure, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.
$9.4 million grant helps scientists explore how cell death from high blood pressure fuels even higher pressure
It's been known for decades that a bacterial infection can raise your blood pressure short term, but now scientists are putting together the pieces of how our own dying cells can fuel chronically high, destructive pressure.
Blood pressure diet improves gout blood marker
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and reduced in fats and saturated fats (the DASH diet), designed decades ago to reduce high blood pressure, also appears to significantly lower uric acid, the causative agent of gout.
New tool to improve blood pressure measurement
Oxford University researchers have developed a prediction model that uses three separate blood pressure readings taken in a single consultation and basic patient characteristics to give an adjusted blood pressure reading that is significantly more accurate than existing models for identifying hypertension.
Blood vessels sprout under pressure
It is blood pressure that drives the opening of small capillaries during angiogenesis.
Better blood pressure control -- by mobile phone
An interactive web system with the help of your mobile phone can be an effective tool for better blood pressure control.
Time to reassess blood-pressure goals
High blood pressure or hypertension is a major health problem that affects more than 70 million people in the US, and over one billion worldwide.
With help from pharmacists, better blood pressure costs $22
A pharmacist-physician collaboration in primary-care offices effectively and inexpensively improved patients' high blood pressure.

Related Blood Pressure Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".