Sleep may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke

At the last ESC Congress 2022, the results of an observation were presented that revealed the relationship between the development of cardiovascular complications and suboptimal sleep. The present study included 7,200 participants aged 50 to 75 without cardiovascular disease. The median age was 59.7 years, 62% male. The subjects studied were participants in the Paris Prospective Study III (PPP3), a prospective cohort based on community follow-up. The authors of the study found that 9 out of 10 people do not sleep well at night.

«The low prevalence of good sleepers was expected given our busy, 24/7 lives,» said study author Dr. Aboubakari Nambiema, Paris, France. «The importance of sleep quality and quantity for heart health should be taught early in life when healthy behaviours become established. Minimising night-time noise and stress at work can both help improve sleep.»

Previously published work has usually reflected the duration of sleep or sleep apnea. In addition, previous studies often only assessed sleep at baseline. The current study used a Healthy Sleep Assessment combining five sleep habits. The researchers examined the relationship between baseline sleep scores, changes in sleep habits over time, and the occurrence of cardiovascular disease.

Questionnaires were used to collect information on five sleep habits at baseline and two follow-up visits. The researchers checked for coronary heart disease and stroke every two years for 10 years.

The authors analyzed the relationship between sleep scores and cardiovascular events after adjusting for age, gender, alcohol consumption, occupation, smoking, body mass index, physical activity, cholesterol levels, diabetes, and a family history of myocardial infarction, stroke, or sudden cardiac death. The researchers estimated the proportion of cardiovascular events that could be prevented with better sleep. They found that if all participants had optimal sleep, 72% of new cases of coronary heart disease and stroke could be avoided each year.

The authors of the paper emphasize that given that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, it is necessary to better understand the importance of good sleep for maintaining cardiovascular health.



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