Sleep and multisystem biological risk: a population-based study.
- Author(s): Carroll, Judith E
- Irwin, Michael R
- Stein Merkin, Sharon
- Seeman, Teresa E
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118467
Short sleep and poor sleep quality are associated with risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and mortality. This study examines the contribution of sleep duration and sleep quality on a multisystem biological risk index that is known to be associated with morbidity and mortality.Analyses include a population-based sample from the Midlife Development in the United States survey recruited to the Biomarker substudy. A total of 1,023 participants aged 54.5 years (SD = 11.8), 56% female and 77.6% white, were included in the analyses. A multisystem biological risk index was derived from 22 biomarkers capturing cardiovascular, immune, lipid-metabolic, glucose-metabolic, sympathetic, parasympathetic, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal systems. Self-reported average sleep duration was categorized as short (<5 hrs), below normal (5 to <6.5 hrs), normal (6.5 to <8.5 hrs), and long sleepers (8.5+ hrs). Sleep quality was determined using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index categorized as normal (≤5) and poor quality (>5) sleep.Linear mixed effect models adjusting for age, gender, race, education, income, BMI, and health status were performed. As compared to normal sleepers, multisystem biological risk in both short (B(SE) = .38(.15), p<.01) and long sleepers (B(SE) = .28(.11), p<.01) were elevated. Poor quality sleep alone was associated with elevated multisystem biological risk (B(SE) = .15(.06), p = .01), but was not significant after adjustment for health status. All short sleepers reported poor sleep quality. However in the long sleepers, only those who reported poor sleep quality exhibited elevated multisystem biological risk (B(SE) = .93(.3), p = .002).Self-reported poor sleep quality with either short or long sleep duration is associated with dysregulation in physiological set points across regulatory systems, leading to elevated multisystem biological risk. Physicians should inquire about sleep health in the assessment of lifestyle factors related to disease risk, with evidence that healthy sleep is associated with lower multisystem biological risk.