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Excess sleep duration linked with cardiovascular risk

Excess sleep duration linked with cardiovascular risk

Publication date: Wednesday, 10 October 2018

People that sleep for more than 8 hours a night have a greater mortality and cardiovascular risk than those who sleep for under seven hours, according to a recent systematic review published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The study also found that a sleep duration of 10 hours is linked with a 30% increased mortality risk compared to sleeping for seven hours.

The study examined the link between self-reported sleep and cardiovascular disease and mortality in more than three million participants. Researchers reviewed 74 studies in over 3 million subjects looking at mortality and cardiovascular outcomes by self-reported sleep duration and sleep quality.

They observed that divergence from the recommended 7–8 hours of sleep was significantly associated with a moderate increase in mortality and incident cardiovascular disease. They observed a J‐shaped relationship between sleep duration and mortality and incident adverse cardiovascular events.

The research also found that a sleep duration of ten hours is further linked to a 56% increased risk of stroke mortality and a 49% increased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality. The study also found that poor sleep quality was associated with a 44% increase in coronary heart disease (risk ratio, 1.44 95% confidence interval, 1.09–1.90).

The researchers recommended that guidelines should be reviewed to highlight the risks associated with excess sleep duration. Future work should evaluate whether attention to optimizing the duration and quality of sleep may help reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease.


This review suggests that abnormal sleep is a marker of elevated cardiovascular risk. If confirmed, these findings will mean that clinicians should have a greater focus on exploring sleep duration and quality during consultations. If excessive sleep patterns are found, particularly prolonged durations of eight hours or more, then clinicians should consider screening for adverse cardiovascular risk factors and obstructive sleep apnoea.

Kwok CS, et al. Self-reported sleep duration and quality and cardiovascular disease and mortality: a dose-response meta-analysis. J Am Heart Assoc 2018;7:e008552. DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.118.008552.


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Topics covered:
Category: Evidence in Practice
Edition: Volume 3 Number 10 PCCJ Online 2018

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