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Video: Lack Of Sleep Makes The Heart Old
Lack of sleep makes the heart old
Adults who sleep too little or too much may be at increased risk of heart attack or stroke. American researchers suggest calling this effect "excess heart age."
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Adults who sleep too little or too much may be at increased risk of heart attack or stroke. American researchers suggest calling this effect "excess heart aging."
According to an American study, adults who slept an average of 7 hours a night had the lowest risk of heart disease. Researchers estimated that their “overweight heart” was approximately 3.7 years older than their chronological age. Those who slept 6 or 8 hours a day had an excess heart age of 4.5 years, and those who slept an average of 5 hours or less - this figure was 5.1 years
“Prolonged periods of sleep deprivation negatively impact several body systems, including the cardiovascular system,” says study author Quanhe Yang of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA.
"Research has shown a significant relationship between sleep duration and risk factors for heart disease such as hypertension, smoking, high blood cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, and mortality," Dr. Young told Reuters.
Scientists define age of the heart as the predicted age of a person's vascular system, based on the risk profile of cardiovascular disease, which was developed during the Framingham Heart Study in 2008.
As Dr. Young explains, the difference between the age of a person's heart and their chronological age is called “excess heart age. The higher it is, the higher the risk of developing heart disease.
For example, if a 40-year-old man has a heart age of 44 years (based on his cardiovascular risk profile - personal risks of developing cardiovascular diseases), then his excess heart age is 4 years.
“Basically, his heart is 4 years older than a typical person of his age should have. The concept of heart age helps to simplify the assessment of the risk of developing heart disease. The aim of the study was to find a link between lack of sleep and heart health. Over-age of the heart is a simplified way of expressing the risk of developing heart disease,”says Dr. Young.
Young and his colleagues analyzed data from the National Health and Diet Survey, which was conducted in the United States in 2007-2014, and included 12,755 participants, aged 30 to 74, who had no prior heart disease or stroke.
Study participants reported their average sleep duration. Based on this data, the research team divided the participants into five groups. About 13% said they sleep an average of five hours or less, 24% - 6 hours, 31% - 7 hours, 26% - 8 hours, and about 5% - 9 or more hours a day.
The researchers calculated the participants' overweight hearts based on their age, gender, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, whether they had been treated for hypertension, whether they smoke, or have diabetes. Based on this data, they developed an overall cardiovascular risk profile of the participants. They then translated this risk profile into terms of excess heart age. The research report is published in the journal Sleep Health.
According to Young, determining the excess age of the heart will allow more people, especially young people, among whom the risk of cardiovascular disease is increasing, to understand the importance of medical advice and get seven hours of sleep a night.
“Previous research has shown that sleep duration in adults is associated with cardiovascular risk factors, cardiovascular disease and mortality from various causes. Sleep periods that are too long as well as too short sleep periods are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, with most studies suggesting that the lowest risk occurs when a person sleeps 7 hours a night,”says Dr. Gregg Fonarow, cardiologist at David School of Medicine. Geffen at the University of California (Devid Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California).
Shorter sleep duration, according to Dr. Fonarov, may contribute to the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by affecting the metabolic and endocrine functions of the body, contributing to the occurrence of inflammation, vascular damage and disturbed sleep rhythm.
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