Involving analysis of data from nearly half a million UK subjects, this new observational study suggests that healthy sleep patterns are significantly associated with lower rates of heart failure.
A significant correlation
In recent years, a lot of research has been done on the relationship between poor quality sleep and various diseases. Most of these studies focus on the potential health implications of specific sleep behaviors, such as overall sleep duration or the impact of sleep deprivation. As part of this new work, presented in the journal Circulation, the researchers specifically studied their relationship with the risk of heart failure.
To do this, the team looked at data from 408,802 adult UK subjects who had been followed for ten years and assigned each of them an overall sleep quality score based on five specific measures: sleep duration, insomnia. snoring daytime sleepiness and chronotype (early riser, night owl…).
It turned out that the subjects with the highest score were 42% less likely to have an episode of heart failure compared to those with the lowest score. This rate of risk reduction was calculated after adjusting for a number of other factors known to influence coronary heart disease, including genetic variation, diabetes, and hypertension.
Looking at the different measures taken into account individually, the researchers found that early risers and subjects who reported sleeping between 7 and 8 hours per day had an 8% and 12% lower risk of heart failure, respectively. The mere absence of sleep disturbances resulted in a 17% reduction in risk, while subjects who did not report daytime sleepiness were 34% less likely to suffer from this type of sleep impairment.
Better understand the influence of sleep on health
” Sleep habits are interrelated. The human body indeed regulates the latter in a holistic way in order to maintain an overall consistency in its intensity, quality and duration. Write the authors of the study. ” By jointly evaluating these behaviors, our study echoes the results highlighted by previous research. “
This new work, of course, comes up against the same limitations as most observational studies. Sleep habits and behaviors are self-reported, often resulting in recall bias, while no direct cause-and-effect relationship can be explicitly established between these types of behaviors and heart failure. However, such results help to deepen our understanding of the influence of sleep on health, highlighting more variables that may affect it.