The Sleep Heart Health Study: design, rationale, and methods

Sleep. 1997 Dec;20(12):1077-85.


The Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS) is a prospective cohort study designed to investigate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) as risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease. The study is designed to enroll 6,600 adult participants aged 40 years and older who will undergo a home polysomnogram to assess the presence of OSA and other SDB. Participants in SHHS have been recruited from cohort studies in progress. Therefore, SHHS adds the assessment of OSA to the protocols of these studies and will use already collected data on the principal risk factors for cardiovascular disease as well as follow-up and outcome information pertaining to cardiovascular disease. Parent cohort studies and recruitment targets for these cohorts are the following: Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (1,750 participants), Cardiovascular Health Study (1,350 participants), Framingham Heart Study (1,000 participants), Strong Heart Study (600 participants), New York Hypertension Cohorts (1,000 participants), and Tucson Epidemiologic Study of Airways Obstructive Diseases and the Health and Environment Study (900 participants). As part of the parent study follow-up procedures, participants will be surveyed at periodic intervals for the incidence and recurrence of cardiovascular disease events. The study provides sufficient statistical power for assessing OSA and other SDB as risk factors for major cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction and stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteriosclerosis / complications*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Coronary Disease / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Research Design
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / therapy