Introduction: Sleep disturbance is very common in menopausal women and poor sleep quality has been linked to systemic inflammation. However, the impact of poor sleep quality on health outcomes of menopausal women remains unclear. This study evaluated the relationships between sleep quality and inflammation in menopausal women.
Participants and design: This cross-sectional study enrolled 281 healthy women aged 45 to 60 years. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used to measure quality of sleep. Multiplex assays were used to measure the levels of 9 cytokines in morning fasting plasma samples. Other variables measured in this study included clinical characteristics and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP).
Setting: The study was performed at a medical center.
Results: The 281 participants comprised 79 (28%) perimenopausal women and 202 (72%) postmenopausal women. Global PSQI scores were positively correlated with plasma hs-CRP levels (P = 0.012) and were marginally associated with interferon gamma-inducible protein-10 (IP10), interleukin 6 (IL6), and macrophage inflammatory protein-1beta (MIP-1β) levels. After adjusting for age, body mass index, menopause duration, and follicle stimulating hormone, multiple linear regression analysis revealed that high PSQI scores and sleep efficiency < 65% were associated with elevated plasma levels of hs-CRP, IP10, and IL6. In addition, sleep duration < 5 hours was associated with high hs-CRP levels.
Conclusion: Our data show that poor sleep quality and low sleep efficiency are associated with elevated levels of circulating inflammatory factors IP10, IL6 and hs-CRP and that short sleep duration is associated with high levels of hs-CRP in menopausal women. These findings provide novel evidence that poor sleep quality is linked to low-grade systemic inflammation in menopausal women.