Association between sleep duration and sleep quality with arterial stiffness: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Published:August 30, 2022DOI:



      Altered sleep parameters, such as duration and quality, play an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of cardiovascular diseases, as well as in all-cause morbidity and mortality. It has been suggested that the specific mechanisms underlying this association could be through the influence of sleep parameters on vascular markers, such as arterial stiffness (AS), although this remains unclear. Thus, in this meta-analysis, we aimed to assess the association between sleep duration and sleep quality with AS in adults.


      PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and Cochrane Library databases were searched from inception to July 30, 2021. The DerSimonian and Laird method was used to compute pooled effect size estimates and their respective 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) of the association of sleep duration and sleep quality with AS. The Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies from the United States National Institute of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute was used to assess the risk of bias.


      Finally, 14 studies (8 cross-sectional studies and baseline data from 6 prospective longitudinal studies) involving 97,837 individuals between 18 and 92 years of age were included. Our results showed that increased sleep duration, as continuous values, does not influence AS (effect size [ES]: 0.00; 95% CIs: -0.15, 0.15) in the general population. However, when sleep duration was longer than 8 hours (ES: 0.21; 95% CIs: 0.06, 0.36), according to sleep categories, a significant increase in pulse wave velocity was shown. Poor sleep quality was associated with increased AS (ES: 0.13; 95% CIs: 0.04, 0.21) in the general population. The overall risk of bias for studies examining sleep duration was fair in 77.8% of the included studies and the overall risk of bias for studies examining sleep quality was fair in 55.6%.


      Our findings showed that both long sleep duration and poor sleep quality were associated with AS in adults. These findings underscore the influence of sleep on vascular health markers, specifically AS, as a possible pathway to explain the increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality associated with sleep disorders.

      Graphical abstract



      a-PWv (Aortic pulse wave velocity), AS (Arterial stiffness), ba-PWv (Brachial to ankle pulse wave velocity), cf-PWv (Carotid to femoral pulse wave velocity), CIs (Confidence intervals), CVD (Cardiovascular disease), ES (Effect size), PSQI (Pittsburgh sleep quality index), PWv (Pulse wave velocity)
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