HealthDay News — Sleep duration and sleep disturbance are associated with cardiometabolic disease, study data published in the Journal of Sleep Research indicate.

Michael A. Grandner, PhD, from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed data from 138,201 adults, who participated in the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, to assess the association of self-reported sleep symptoms with cardiometabolic health issues, including myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary artery disease, diabetes and obesity.

After adjusting for demographic, socioeconomic and health risk factors, the researchers found that sleep duration correlated significantly with obesity (odds ratio=1.18), diabetes (OR=1.18), myocardial infarction (OR=1.36), stroke (OR=1.22) and coronary artery disease (OR=1.59). After fully adjusting for potential confounding variables including physical health, significant associations remained for obesity (OR=1.14), myocardial infarction (OR=1.23), and coronary artery disease (OR=1.43).

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Sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep and sleeping too much, were significant risk factors for obesity, myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary artery disease and diabetes. Following adjustment, the effects for obesity, myocardial infarction and coronary artery disease were the most robust.

“These data suggest that sleep disturbance may be an important indicator of cardiometabolic disease risk. Future studies are needed to evaluate the temporal relationships among these measures and whether sleep intervention could reduce cardiometabolic consequences,” the researchers wrote.

Grander MA, Jackson NJ, Pak VM et al. Journal of Sleep Research. 2011; doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2011.00990.x