Madrid - Anyone who constantly sleeps too little at night could significantly increase their risk of cardiovascular diseases. Spanish and American scientists report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2019; doi:).
The scientists around José Ordovás from Madrid analyzed the medical data of 3,974 people from Spain, who on average were 46 years old were old, 2 thirds of them were male. They analyzed the prevalence and rate of progression of vascular problems that were not yet clinically relevant in the participants. None of the volunteers had diagnosis of heart disease at the start of the study.
In addition to assessing the vascular lesions, the researchers also recorded the study participants' sleep behavior. They divided the test subjects into 4 groups: people who sleep less than 6 hours night, who sleep 6 to 7 hours night, who sleep 7 to 8 hours and people who sleep longer than 8 hours.< The study found that - after excluding other risk factors for heart disease - participants who slept less than 6 hours each night were 27% more likely to develop atherosclerosis than people who slept between 7 and 8 hours each night.
Poor sleep quality - for example waking up frequently at night - was associated with similar results and increased the risk of atherosclerosis by 34%.
The study also found evidence that people who slept more than 8 hours night were also at an increased risk of atherosclerosis, although few people reported sleeping too long ichten.
"Cardiovascular disease is huge global problem and we use variety of approaches to prevent and treat it, including medicines, physical activity and diet," said Ordovás. The new study shows that "we have to include sleep as one of the weapons in combating heart disease - factor that we put at risk every day," said the scientist.