Monday, November 22, 2010

Poor Sleep Quality and Cardiovascular Diseases

Growing evidence links sleep quality to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, and an increased production of inflammatory hormones and changes in blood vessel function may be one mechanism by which sleep deprivation affects CVD outcomes.

Previous researches into 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.

In contrast, Alanna Morris et al investigated the association of chronic lack of sleep with inflammation in 525 middle-aged people in a community-based setting.

Their report presented on Nov. 14 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago confirmed that 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 higher (2 milligrams per liter compared to 1.6) in people who reported fewer than six hours of sleep, compared to those reporting between six and nine hours.

That difference was still significant even when the data is corrected for known risk factors such as smoking, blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, and this is further underlined by the fact that the study population represents a community-based population [as opposed to patients in the hospital or with known cardiovascular disease].

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C-reactive protein is used extensively as a marker of inflammation and heart disease risk. People whose C-reactive protein levels are in the upper third of the population (above 3 milligrams per liter) have roughly double the risk of a heart attack, compared with people with lower C-reactive protein levels, according to the American Heart Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The major CardioVascular Diseases include:

  • Coronary (or ischaemic) heart disease (heart attack)
  • Cerebrovascular disease (stroke)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Heart failure
  • Rheumatic heart disease
An estimated 16.7 million - or 29.2% of total global deaths - result from the various forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD), many of which are preventable by action on the major primary risk factors: unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and smoking.

Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite

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