WEDNESDAY, June 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Poor sleep is associated with increased risks of all-cause and cause-specific mortality, with risk exacerbated among those with insufficient physical activity (PA), according to a study published online June 29 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Bo-Huei Huang, from the University of Sydney, and colleagues examined the joint association of PA and sleep with all-cause and cause-specific mortality risks among 380,055 participants with a mean age of 55.9 years from the U.K. Biobank. Based on current public health guidelines, baseline PA levels were classified as high, medium, low, and no moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Sleep was classified into healthy, intermediate, and poor. Twelve PA-sleep combinations were derived, and the mortality risks were ascertained.

The researchers found that sleep scores showed dose-response associations with all-cause, total cardiovascular disease (CVD), and ischemic stroke mortality after an average follow-up of 11.1 years. Compared with the reference group (high PA/healthy sleep), the highest mortality risks were seen for the no MVPA/poor sleep group for all-cause, total CVD, total cancer, and lung cancer (hazard ratios, 1.57, 1.67, 1.45, and 1.91, respectively). Lower PA amplified the deleterious associations of poor sleep with all outcomes, apart from stroke.

“Our results support the value of interventions to concurrently target PA and sleep to improve health,” the authors write. “Future prospective studies with device-based sleep and PA assessments and trials concurrently targeting both behaviors are warranted.”

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