Short-term sleep deprivation increases the risk of blocked leg arteries

Short-term sleep deprivation increases the risk of blocked leg arteries

According to study results published in the ESC publication European Heart Journal - Open, sleeping fewer than five hours a night is associated with a 74% higher risk of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD) than sleeping seven to eight hours.

According to Dr. Shuai Yuan of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, the results of the research show that sleeping seven to eight hours per night may help reduce the risk of PAD.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD), which causes blocked arteries in the legs to impede blood flow and raise the risk of heart attack and stroke, affects more than 200 million individuals worldwide2. Inadequate sleep at night and daytime naps have previously been linked to an increased risk of coronary artery disease, which, like PAD, is brought on by blocked arteries, according to Dr. Yuan. Moreover, among the most common symptoms among PAD patients is trouble sleeping. Our research aims to close the knowledge gap regarding the relationship between PAD and sleep patterns.

More than 650,000 people took part in the survey, which included two phases.

3 Initially, the researchers examined the relationships between sleeping throughout the day and the risk of PAD. The second section examined the causality of the connections by doing naturally randomised controlled trials (also known as Mendelian randomisation) using genetic data.

Reverse causation limits observational investigations, according to Dr. Yuan. If a link between sleep patterns and PAD is discovered, it is impossible to know whether the sleep patterns caused the PAD or the PAD caused the sleep patterns. Mendelian randomization is a reliable technique for determining causation and increases the confidence of the findings.

Together, the strongest evidence pointed to short sleep, where there was a bidirectional link with PAD. Sleeping for fewer than five hours each night was linked to a roughly doubled incidence of PAD compared to sleeping for seven to eight hours in an observational investigation of 53,416 people (hazard ratio [HR] 1.74; 95 per cent confidence interval [CI] 1.31-2.31). Further investigations in 156,582 and 452,028 people confirmed this conclusion. Short sleep was linked to an increased risk of PAD in the causal investigations, while PAD was linked to an increased chance of short sleep. According to Dr. Yuan, the findings show that having PAD raises the risk of receiving inadequate sleep and that having a short night's sleep might increase the likelihood of acquiring PAD.

Regarding extended sleep, an observational investigation of 53,416 people found that those who slept for eight hours or more each night had a 24% greater risk of PAD than those who slept for seven to eight hours (HR 1.24; 95 per cent CI 1.08-1.43). Analyses of two bigger populations, consisting of 156,582 and 452,028 people, corroborated this conclusion. Long periods of sleep and PAD, however, did not seem to be causally related. Similar findings were observed for napping; however, no causal relationships were discovered. Daytime nappers had a 32% increased risk of PAD compared to those who did not nap (HR 1.32; 95%CI 1.18-1.49). Dr. Yuan said that further research was required to determine the connections between PAD and daytime naps and prolonged nighttime sleep. While connections were discovered in the observational studies, causation could not be established.

"Further study is required on how to break the reciprocal relationship between short sleep and PAD," he said in his conclusion. Becoming more active and making other lifestyle adjustments that promote better sleep may reduce the chance of getting PAD. Optimizing pain management may help individuals with PAD get a decent night's sleep.