Inadequate sleep is increasingly pervasive, and the impact on health remains to be fully understood. The cardiovascular consequences alone appear to be substantial. This review summarizes epidemiologic evidence regarding the association between extremes of sleep duration and the prevalence and incidence of cardiovascular diseases. The adverse effects of experimental sleep loss on physiological functions are discussed, along with cardiovascular risk factors that may underlie the association with increased morbidity and mortality. Current data support the concept that inadequate sleep duration confers heightened cardiovascular risk. Thus implementation of preventative strategies may reduce the potential disease burden associated with this high-risk behavior.
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Coronary heart disease; Hypertension; Sleep deprivation; Sleep duration; Stroke.
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