Less Sleep Associated With Higher Risk for Developing Chronic Disease

Researchers found that compared with 7 hours of sleep, sleep duration of 5 hours or less was associated with a higher multimorbidity risk, with consistent results for those aged 50, 60, and 70 years.

HealthDay News Sleeping five hours or less per night is associated with a higher risk for developing chronic diseases, according to a study published online Oct. 18 in PLOS Medicine.

Séverine Sabia, from Université Paris Cité, Inserm in France, and colleagues examined whether sleep duration is associated with the incidence of a first chronic disease, subsequent multimorbidity, and mortality. The analysis included data from 7,864 employees (32.5 percent women) of the British civil service followed for 25 years.

The researchers found that compared with seven hours of sleep, sleep duration of five hours or less was associated with a higher multimorbidity risk (hazard ratio [HR], 1.30; p < 0.001), with consistent results for those ages 50, 60, and 70 years. At ages 60 and 70 years, sleep duration of nine or more hours was associated with incident multimorbidity (HR, 1.54; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.15 to 2.06; P = 0.003; and HR, 1.51; 95 percent CI, 1.10 to 2.08; P = 0.01, respectively), but this finding was not seen at age 50 years (HR, 1.39; 95 percent CI, 0.98 to 1.96; P = 0.07). Sleeping five hours or less at age 50 years was associated with an increased risk for a first chronic disease (HR, 1.20; P = 0.003) versus seven hours of sleep. There were no associations between sleep duration and mortality among those with existing chronic diseases.

“These findings support the promotion of good sleep hygiene in both primary and secondary prevention by targeting behavioral and environmental conditions that affect sleep duration and quality,” the authors write.

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