Importance: Single self-reported measures of sleep duration are associated with adverse health outcomes; however, long-term patterns of self-reported sleep duration and their association with cardiovascular events (CVEs) and all-cause mortality remain unknown.
Objective: To determine whether trajectories of long-term vs single-measure sleep duration are associated with subsequent risk of CVEs and all-cause mortality.
Design, setting, and participants: The Kailuan study is a prospective, population-based cohort study that began in 2006. The present cohort included 52 599 Chinese adults without atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, stroke, or cancer to 2010. Trajectories in sleep duration from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2010, were identified to investigate the association with risk of CVEs and all-cause mortality from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2017. Data analysis was conducted from July 1 to October 31, 2019.
Exposures: Habitual self-reported nocturnal sleep durations were collected in 2006, 2008, and 2010. Trajectories in sleep duration for 4 years were identified by latent mixture modeling.
Main outcomes and measures: All-cause mortality and first incident CVEs (atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, and stroke) from 2010 to 2017 were confirmed by medical records. Based on the baseline sleep duration and patterns over time, 4 trajectories were categorized (normal stable, normal decreasing, low increasing, and low stable).
Results: Of the 52 599 adults included in the study (mean [SD] age at baseline, 52.5 [11.8] years), 40 087 (76.2%) were male and 12 512 (23.8%) were female. Four distinct 4-year sleep duration trajectory patterns were identified: normal stable (range, 7.4 to 7.5 hours [n = 40 262]), normal decreasing (mean decrease from 7.0 to 5.5 hours [n = 8074]), low increasing (mean increase from 4.9 to 6.9 hours [n = 3384]), and low stable (range, 4.2 to 4.9 hours [n = 879]). During a mean (SD) follow-up of 6.7 (1.1) years, 2361 individuals died and 2406 had a CVE. Compared with the normal-stable pattern and adjusting for potential confounders, a low-increasing pattern was associated with increased risk of first CVEs (hazard ratio [HR], 1.22; 95% CI, 1.04-1.43), a normal-decreasing pattern was associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality (HR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.15-1.57), and the low-stable pattern was associated with the highest risk of CVEs (HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.05-2.05) and death (HR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.07-2.10).
Conclusions and relevance: In this study, sleep duration trajectories with lower or unstable patterns were significantly associated with increased risk of subsequent first CVEs and all-cause mortality. Longitudinal sleep duration patterns may assist in more precise identification of different at-risk groups for possible intervention. People reporting consistently sleeping less than 5 hours per night should be regarded as a population at higher risk for CVE and mortality.