Photo: nicolesy/iStockphoto

Sleep is important for people with metabolic syndrome, researchers say

July 17, 2017

Dallas – People with metabolic syndrome – an aggregation of factors such as high blood pressure and obesity that increase the risk of heart disease – raise their risk of death from heart disease or stroke if they sleep less than six hours a night, according to a recent study from the American Heart Association.

For the study, 1,344 adults spent the night in a sleep laboratory, where test results showed that 39 percent of participants had metabolic syndrome. During a follow-up period that averaged 16.6 years, participants with metabolic syndrome who slept less than six hours a night were found to be about twice as likely to die of heart disease or stroke than those without the syndrome. The risk was reduced for respondents who slept more than six hours.

“If you have several heart disease risk factors, taking care of your sleep and consulting with a clinician if you have insufficient sleep is important if you want to lower your risk of death from heart disease or stroke,” lead author Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, an assistant professor at Penn State College of Medicine and sleep psychologist at the Sleep Research & Treatment Center of the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, said in a May 24 press release.

The study was published online May 17 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.