Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. This factor can triple your odds of developing it.
Heart health is impacted by most things you do. Your eating habits, how much you sleep and your level of activity are key factors that will have a hand in shaping your cardiovascular health. And now, a new study shows that poor sleep can increase your odds of heart disease by a significant margin.
The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports and conducted by researchers from the University of South Florida, reviewed sleep data of over 6,000 adults with a median age of 53. These subjects provided reports on their sleep habits and cardiovascular history. A group of around 600 people wore a device on their wrist that captured their rhythms more precisely.
Researchers explained they selected subjects that were primarily middle-aged since this subgroup tends to have more stressful life experiences. Participants were asked different questions about their health, whether they had any heart conditions, and whether there was cardiovascular disease in their family history. They were also asked about smoking practices, physical activity, depression, and other matters that could affect their heart health.
Researchers measured a variety of factors related to sleep, like satisfaction, regularity, and more. They found that the more issues a person had, the likelier it was for them to experience adverse heart health side effects. Subjects who wore sleep monitors and reported sleep problems showed a 141%of increase in heart disease probability, tripling their odds of heart disease.
“These findings show the importance of assessing ‘co-existing sleep health problems’ within an individual to capture the risk of heart disease,” said lead author Soomi Lee. “This is one of the first studies showing that, among well-functioning adults in midlife, having more sleep health problems may increase the risk of heart disease.”
“The higher estimated risk in those who provided both self-report and actigraphy sleep data suggests that measuring sleep health accurately and comprehensively is important to increase the prediction of heart disease,” he continued.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting over 30 million people in the year 2018. Studies like this one can provide new parameters for the treatment and prevention of the disease, especially since sleep is a factor that can be regulated and improved upon.