Sleep Disturbance can Increase the Risk of Coronary Artery Disease

disturbed sleep and heart disease


Almost 20% of the adult population in the Western countries suffers from some or the other sleep related problems. These problems can give rise to several psychological and physiological changes,  besides increasing the risk of developing hypertension, type II diabetes and an increased body mass index. Short and long sleep hours can also cause alterations in blood lipid concentrations and inflammatory markers. These factors, in turn, can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
There have been studies in the past which established the fact that short sleep duration of less than six hours is associated with increased mortality and morbidity from coronary heart disease (CHD). However, there was no correlation of coronary artery disease with the quality of sleep. However, a new study by Tarani Chandola et al, published in the June 2010 issue of the journal “Sleep”, shows that the effect of short sleep duration on coronary artery disease risk is greatest among those with sleep disturbance.
The participants in the study were recruited from the Whitehall II cohort. The sleep pattern of 10,308 participants between the ages of 35 and 55 years was examined in between 1985 to 1988 and was followed up for an average of 15 years. The normal sleep hours of the participants were noted and history of sleep disturbance was obtained. Any occurrence of CHD events like fatal CHD deaths or incident nonfatal myocardial infarction or angina were also taken into consideration.
The results of the study showed that both short sleep duration as well as sleep disturbance were associated with an increased risk of developing CHD. However, this risk was maximized in patients with sleep disturbance. In patients who had short sleep hours with no sleep disturbance, there was little evidence of increased risk of developing CHD. 
Monday, October 13, 2014