People who sleep poorly or do not get enough sleep have higher levels of inflammation, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, researchers have found.
Data from a recent study are scheduled to be presented Sunday, Nov. 14 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago by Alanna Morris, MD, a cardiology fellow at Emory University School of Medicine.
The results come from surveying 525 middle-aged people participating in the Morehouse-Emory Partnership to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities (META-Health) study on their sleep quality and sleep duration. The META-Health study's co-directors are Arshed Quyyumi, MD, professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and director of Emory's Cardiovascular Research Center, and Gary Gibbons, MD, director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. Donald Bliwise, MD, director of the Emory University Sleep Program, contributed additional guidance.
Acute sleep deprivation leads to an increased production of inflammatory hormones and changes in blood vessel function, but more research is needed on the physiological effects of chronic lack of sleep, Morris says.
"Most of the studies looking at the body's response to lack of sleep have looked at subjects who have been acutely sleep deprived for more than 24 hours in experimental sleep laboratories," she says. "Nothing of this sort has been investigated in epidemiologic studies."
In the META-Health study, the researchers assessed sleep quality using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index survey, where a score over six (based on the median sleep score of the study population) is considered poor. They also analyzed their data based on hours of sleep.
Individuals who reported six or fewer hours of sleep had higher levels of three inflammatory markers: fibrinogen, IL-6 and C-reactive protein. In particular, average C-reactive protein levels were about 25 percent
|Contact: Jennifer Johnson|