Study using the American Heart Association framework provides evidence that sleep is integral to preserving heart health.
Researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health evaluated an expanded measure of cardiovascular health (CVH) that includes sleep as an eighth metric, in relation to cardiovascular disease risk. This represents the first examination of adding sleep to the American Heart Association’s original Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) metrics as a novel eighth metric of CVH. The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The study sample consisted of ~2000 middle-aged to older adults from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), an ongoing U.S. study of CVD and CVD risk factors, who participated in a sleep exam and provided comprehensive data on their sleep characteristics.
The research evaluated multiple expanded cardiovascular health scores –including the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) metrics — plus different sleep health measures, to evaluate which sleep parameters should be prioritized for CVD prevention. This study is the first to show that sleep metrics add independent predictive value for CVD events over and above the original 7 CVH metrics.
Importantly, cardiovascular health scores that included sleep duration only as a measure of overall sleep health as well as cardiovascular health scores that included multiple dimensions of sleep health (i.e. sleep duration, efficiency, and regularity, daytime sleepiness, and sleep disorders) were both predictive of future CVD. For the sleep duration metric, sleeping 7 hours or more but less than 9 hours each night was considered indicative of ideal sleep health.