What’s the Link: Fatness, Fitness & Sleep Duration

Research Paper Title

Sleep Duration and Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in a Large US Cohort: Interrelationships With Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Body Mass Index.

Background

Both short and long durations of sleep are associated with higher mortality, but little is known about the interrelationship between sleep and other modifiable factors in relation to mortality.

Methods

In the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study (1995–1996), the researchers examined associations between sleep duration and total, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer mortality among 239,896 US men and women aged 51–72 years who were free of cancer, CVD, and respiratory disease. Researchers evaluated the influence of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, television viewing, and body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)2) on the sleep-mortality association and assessed their combined association with mortality.

Results

During an average of 14 years of follow-up, the researchers identified 44,100 deaths. Compared with 7–8 hours of sleep per day, both shorter and longer sleep durations were associated with higher total and CVD mortality. The researchers found a greater elevation in CVD mortality associated with shorter sleep among overweight and obese people, suggesting a synergistic interaction between sleep and BMI. People in the unhealthy categories of all 4 risk factors (sleep <7 hours/day, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity ≤1 hour/week, television viewing ≥3 hours/day, and BMI ≥25) had significantly higher all-cause (relative risk (RR) = 1.42, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.34, 1.52), CVD (RR = 1.90, 95% CI: 1.67, 2.17), and cancer (RR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.09, 1.34) mortality.

Conclusions

Short sleep duration may predict higher mortality, particularly CVD mortality, among overweight and obese people.

Reference

Xiao, Q., Keadle, S.K., Hollenbeck, A.R. & Matthews, C.E. (2014) Sleep Duration and Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in a Large US Cohort: Interrelationships With Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Body Mass Index. American Journal of Epidemiology. First published online: October 3, 2014. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwu222.

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