Background: Although sleep is one of the most important health-related factors, relationship between sleep duration and mortality has not been fully discussed.
Methods: Study subjects were 11,325 participants (4,419 males and 6,906 females) in the Jichi Medical School Cohort Study, a population-based prospective study. Baseline data were obtained by questionnaire and health checkups between April 1992 and July 1995 in 12 rural areas in Japan. Main outcome measures were all-cause and cause-specific mortality derived from death certificates up to December 31, 2001. Cox's proportional hazard models were applied to analyze the association of sleep duration with mortality.
Results: A total of 495 deaths (289 males and 206 females) were observed during the average of 8.2-year follow-up period. After adjusting for age, systolic blood pressure, serum total cholesterol, body mass index, smoking habits, alcohol drinking habits, education, and marital status, the hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) of all-cause mortality for individuals sleeping shorter than 6 hours and 9 hours or longer were 2.4 (1.3-4.2) and 1.1 (0.8-1.6) in males, and 0.7 (0.2-2.3) and 1.5 (1.0-2.4) in females, respectively, relative to those with 7-7.9 hours sleep.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that males with short sleep and females with long sleep were at an elevated risk of death.