Sleep Duration, Sleep Quality, and Markers of Subclinical Arterial Disease in Healthy Men and Women

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2015 Oct;35(10):2238-45. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.115.306110. Epub 2015 Sep 10.


Objective: Short and long sleep duration are associated with increased risk of clinical cardiovascular events, but the association between sleep duration and subclinical cardiovascular disease is not well established. We examined the association between sleep duration and sleep quality with coronary artery calcification (CAC) and with brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (PWV) in a large sample of young and middle-aged asymptomatic adults.

Approach and results: We conducted a cross-sectional study of adult men and women who underwent a health checkup examination, including assessment of sleep duration and quality and coupled with either CAC (n=29 203) or brachial-ankle PWV (n=18 106). The multivariate-adjusted CAC score ratios (95% confidence interval) comparing sleep durations of ≤5, 6, 8, and ≥9 hours with 7 hours of sleep were 1.50 (1.17-1.93), 1.34 (1.10-1.63), 1.37 (0.99-1.89), and 1.72 (0.90-3.28), respectively (P for quadratic trend=0.002). The corresponding average differences in brachial-ankle PWV were 6.7 (0.75-12.6), 2.9 (-1.7 to 7.4), 10.5 (4.5-16.5), and 9.6 (-0.7 to 19.8) cm/s, respectively (P for quadratic trend=0.019). Poor subjective sleep quality was associated with CAC in women but not in men, whereas the association between poor subjective sleep quality and brachial-ankle PWV was stronger in men than in women.

Conclusions: In this large study of apparently healthy men and women, extreme sleep duration and poor subjective sleep quality were associated with increased prevalence of CAC and higher PWV. Our results underscore the importance of an adequate quantity and quality of sleep to maintain cardiovascular health.

Keywords: coronary calcification; pulse wave velocity; sleep duration; sleep quality; subclinical atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Brachial Index
  • Calcinosis / physiopathology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pulsatile Flow / physiology
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Reference Values
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology*