Relationship between sleep duration and arterial stiffness in a multi-ethnic population: The HELIUS study

Chronobiol Int. 2016;33(5):543-52. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2016.1158721. Epub 2016 Apr 8.


We examined the relationship between sleep duration and arterial stiffness among a multi-ethnic cohort, and whether the associations differed among ethnic minority groups in the Netherlands. Data were derived from 10 994 participants (aged 18-71 years) of the Healthy Life in an Urban Setting (HELIUS) study. Self-reported sleep duration was categorized into: short (<7 h/night), healthy (7-8 h/night) and long (≥9 h/night). Arterial stiffness was assessed by duplicate pulse-wave velocity (PWV in m/s) measurements using the Arteriograph system. The association of sleep duration with PWV was analysed using linear regression (β) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Results showed that neither short nor long sleep was related to PWV in all ethnic groups, except for long sleep in Dutch men which was associated with higher PWV (indicating stiffer arteries) after adjustment for potential confounders (β = 0.67, 95%CI, 0.23-1.11). Our study showed no convincing evidence that sleep duration was related to arterial stiffness among various ethnic groups. The link between sleep duration and cardiovascular outcomes does not seem to operate through arterial stiffness. Further research is needed to consolidate these findings.

Keywords: Arterial stiffness; HELIUS study; ethnicity; minority group; pulse-wave velocity; sleep duration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulse Wave Analysis / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology*
  • Young Adult