FRIDAY, Oct. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Middle-aged adults with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or stroke could be at higher risk for cancer and early death when sleeping less than six hours per day, according to a study published online Oct. 2 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, Ph.D., from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, and colleagues used data from 1,654 adults (aged 20 to 74 years) participating in the Penn State Adult Cohort (52.5 percent women and 89.8 percent white). The association between short sleep duration and risk for mortality from cardiometabolic risk factors (CMRs) and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases (CBVDs) was assessed.

The researchers found that risk for all-cause mortality associated with CMR or CBVD was significantly modified by objective sleep duration (P < 0.05) and was significantly higher in participants who slept less than six hours per day (hazard ratios [HRs], 2.14 [95 percent confidence interval (CI), 1.52 to 3.02] and 3.17 [95 percent CI, 2.16 to 4.65], respectively). Among participants who slept less than six hours, CMR was associated with a 1.83 (95 percent CI, 1.07 to 3.13) higher risk for CBVD mortality, and CBVD was associated with a 2.92 (95 percent CI, 1.28 to 6.65) higher risk for cancer mortality. Among participants who slept six or more hours, CMR was not significantly associated with CBVD mortality (HR, 1.35; 95 percent CI, 0.70 to 2.63) and CBVD was not significantly associated with cancer mortality (HR, 0.55; 95 percent CI, 0.18 to 1.64).

“Better identification of people with specific sleep issues would potentially lead to improved prevention, more complete treatment approaches, better long-term outcomes, and less health care usage,” Fernandez-Mendoza said in a statement.

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