Association of sleep duration and hypertension among US adults varies by age and sex

Am J Hypertens. 2012 Mar;25(3):335-41. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2011.201. Epub 2011 Nov 3.


Background: While short sleep duration has been related to hypertension, the impact of age and sex on this association is less well known. We examined the association between hours of sleep and hypertension prevalence among US adults by age and sex.

Methods: The study was conducted using data from the 2007-2009 National Health Interview Surveys (NHISs). The association between self-reported hours of sleep and prevalence of hypertension was assessed after stratifying by age and sex.

Results: Among 71,455 participants, age-standardized hypertension prevalence rates (%) were 32.4, 25.5, 22.2, 23.2, 25.5, and 32.5 among adults reporting sleep of <6, 6, 7, 8, 9, and ≥10 h/day, respectively (P < 0.001). There was a "U"-shaped association of hours of sleep and hypertension prevalence among all age and sex subgroups. Logistic regression models, using 8 h sleep/day as the referent, showed a greater likelihood of hypertension among those who slept <7 or ≥10 h/day after adjusting for sociodemographic, behavior, and health characteristics. Further stratifying by age and sex, while adjusting for all other characteristics, revealed that among adults less than 45 years, short (<6 h for men and <8 h for women) and long (≥10 h for men) sleep were associated with higher likelihood of hypertension. For other age/sex groups, short sleep (<6 h) was associated with higher likelihood of hypertension among middle-aged men and older women, as was long sleep (≥10 h) among middle-aged women.

Conclusions: This national sample study suggests that the association between hours of sleep and hypertension varies by age and sex.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / complications*
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / complications*
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology