HealthDay News — Poor sleep, especially for individuals with sleep-related breathing disorders, is negatively associated with a cardiovascular disease (CVD)-free life, according to a study published online March 2 in BMC Medicine.
Bo‑Huei Huang, from the University of Sydney, and colleagues estimated the differences in CVD-free life expectancy between people with different sleep profiles. Five sleep characteristics were self-reported and 5 clinical sleep disorder events were defined and grouped as “healthy sleep,” “intermediate sleep,” and “poor sleep.” The analysis included 308,683 middle-aged adults identified from the U.K. Biobank who provided self-reports of sleep data, with primary care linkage data for 140,181 for clinical confirmation of sleep events.
Researchers observed a gradual loss in CVD-free life expectancy toward poor sleep vs healthy sleepers, with poor sleeper women losing 1.80 and men losing 2.31 CVD-free years. For intermediate sleepers, loss of CVD-free years was 0.48 for women and 0.55 for men. Men with clinical insomnia or sleep-related breathing disorders lost CVD-free life of 3.84 or 6.73 years, respectively. In women, sleep-related breathing disorders and other sleep disorders were associated with 7.32 and 1.43 years lost, respectively.
“Our research shows that, over time, regular poor sleep can lead to significantly compromised cardiovascular health in middle and old age,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Sleep apnea is well known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions, but these findings are a wake-up call that poor sleep in general can pose significant risk to heart health.”