Sleep and Cardiovascular Health, BMI, and Mortality| Volume 5, ISSUE 5, P501-508, October 2019

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Association of sleep characteristics with cardiovascular health among women and differences by race/ethnicity and menopausal status: findings from the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network


      Background and Objective

      Sleep is an emerging risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) that is not currently included as a cardiovascular health (CVH) metric in the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 (AHA LS7). Our objective was to evaluate the association of sleep with CVH in women and examine differences by menopausal status and race/ethnicity.


      Baseline data from the Columbia University AHA Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network were examined. Sleep habits were self-reported using validated questionnaires. A CVH score was computed using AHA LS7 criteria for smoking, diet, physical activity, BMI, blood pressure(BP), total cholesterol, and fasting glucose. Women received a score of 2 (ideal), 1 (intermediate), or 0 (poor) based on their level of meeting each AHA LS7 metric. Multivariable-adjusted regression models were used to evaluate associations of sleep with meeting overall and individual CVH metrics.


      The analytical sample consisted of n = 507 women (62% minority/Hispanic, mean age:37 y). Participants with adequate sleep duration (≥7 h), good sleep quality, no insomnia nor snoring, and low risk for OSA were more likely to meet >4 of the AHA LS7 metrics (P < .01). Poorer sleep quality (β = −0.08, P = .002), higher insomnia severity (β = −0.05, P = .002), snoring (β = −0.77, P = .0001), and higher risk for OSA (β = −1.63, P < .0001) were associated with poorer CVH. Insomnia, snoring, and high OSA risk were associated with 69% to >300% higher odds of having poor CVH (P ≤ .03). Associations were stronger in post-menopausal and racial/ethnic minority women.


      Better sleep habits were associated with more favorable CVH among women, suggesting that there may be benefit in incorporating sleep assessment into CVD risk screening.


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