Sleeping Five Hours or Less a Night Associated With Doubled Risk of Cardiovascular Disease


Source: European Society of Cardiology

Summary: According to research, Middle-aged men who sleep five hours or less per night have twice the risk of developing a major cardiovascular event during the following two decades than men who sleep seven to eight hours.


Compared to those with normal sleep duration, men who slept five or fewer hours per night had a two-fold higher risk of having a major cardiovascular event by age 71. The risk remained doubled after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors at the start of the study including obesity, diabetes, and smoking. Previous studies have generated conflicting evidence on whether short sleep is associated with a greater chance of having a future cardiovascular event. This study investigated this relationship in 50-year-old men. In 1993, 50% of all men born in 1943 and living in Gothenburg were randomly selected to participate in the study. Of the 1,463 invited, 798 (55%) men agreed to take part. Participants underwent a physical examination and completed a questionnaire on current health conditions, average sleep duration, physical activity, and smoking.

Less sleep leads to cardiovascular risk

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The men were divided into four groups according to their self-estimated average sleep duration at the start of the study: five or less hours, six hours, seven to eight hours (considered normal sleep duration), and more than eight hours. Participants were followed-up for 21 years for the occurrence of major cardiovascular events, which included heart attack, stroke, hospitalization due to heart failure, coronary revascularization, or death from cardiovascular disease. Men with incomplete data on sleep duration, incomplete follow-up information, or who had a major cardiovascular event before the start of the study were excluded, leaving a total of 759 men for the analyses. High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, current smoking, low physical activity, and poor sleep quality were more common in men who slept five or fewer hours per night compared to those who got seven to eight hours.

Study author Ms Moa Bengtsson, of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, said: “Men with the shortest sleep duration at the age of 50 were twice as likely to have had a cardiovascular event by age 71 than those who slept a normal amount, even when other risk factors were taken into account.”


More Information: Abstract: “Sleeping five hours or less a night associated with doubled risk of cardiovascular disease.”


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