Increased mortality associated with short sleep duration

According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association middle-aged adults with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke could be at high risk for cancer and early death when sleeping less than six hours per day.

This study was done on a total of 1654 adults (aged 20–74 years) from the Penn State Adult Cohort. All adults in this cohort had cardiometabolic risk factors like stage 2 hypertension or type 2 diabetes. In addition, some had diagnosis and treatment for and or stroke. Participants were studied in the sleep laboratory (1991-1998) for one night and then researchers tracked their cause of death up to the end of 2016.

Statistical analysis showed that participants who slept less than 6 hours had higher all-cause mortality. They also had a higher incidence of cerebro and cardiovascular-related mortality. Another significant finding was increased cancer-related mortality in patients who had less than 6 hours of sleep.

Although the study was based on only one-night sleep assessment this is an important study that shows a relation between lack of sleep and mortality in patients with cardiometabolic risk factors. Further research is warranted in understanding this relationship and to promote adequate sleep duration as effective risk modifier.