Depression Plus Sleep Disorder May Triple Heart Disease Risk

Depressed-Tired-Woman-Lying-On-Bed
A woman lying/sleeping on her back on the bed with her hand/arm over her head
Depressive symptoms and sleep disorders, including insomnia, hypersomnia, and disrupted breathing, are considered heart disease risk factors. Other studies have linked sleep disorders and depression. This study analyzes heart disease risk in people with both sleep disorders and depression.

Individuals with both depression and sleep disorder may have a heightened risk of heart disease according to a study published in the International Journal of General Medicine.

Depressive symptoms and sleep disorders, including insomnia, hypersomnia, and disrupted breathing, are considered heart disease risk factors, the researchers state. Other studies have linked sleep disorders and depression. The current study analyzes heart disease risk in people with both sleep disorders and depression.

The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) database, a publicly available database of the United States population. The study included data from 30,398 individuals, roughly evenly distributed between men (49.33%) and women (50.67%).  

The researchers found the risk for cardiovascular disease was 1.79 times higher in people with depression compared with those without depression. Risk from cardiovascular disease in people with sleep disorders was 1.23 times higher than in people without sleep problems. The risk for cardiovascular disease in people with both conditions was nearly 3 times higher than in people without both conditions. They found only moderate depression interacts with sleep disorders in the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. They admit additional studies are needed to determine the biological and/or behavioral reasons for this finding.

The cross-sectional design of the study, as well as the self-reported nature of the questionnaires, may have influenced the strength of the study results. A prospective cohort study would produce stronger evidence, the researchers state.

“This study verified that depressive symptoms and sleep disorders were independent risk factors for CVD and found that depressive symptoms and sleep disorders may play a synergistic interaction in the occurrence of CVD,” they conclude. “More prospective clinical studies should be conducted to further validate our results and explore the mechanisms by which these results occur.”

Reference

Wang C, Hu J. Influence of the interaction between depressive symptoms and sleep disorders on cardiovascular diseases occurrence. Int J Gen Med. 2021;14:10327-10335. doi:10.2147/IJGM.S334894