Relationship between short sleep duration and cardiovascular risk factors in a multi-ethnic cohort - the helius study

Kenneth Anujuo, Karien Stronks, Marieke B. Snijder, Girardin Jean-Louis, Femke Rutters, Bert-Jan van den Born, Ron J. Peters, Charles Agyemang

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31 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the association between short sleep duration and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors including hypertension, diabetes, obesity and lipid profile among various ethnic groups (South Asian Surinamese, African Surinamese, Ghanaians, Turks, Moroccans and the Dutch) living in the Netherlands. The contribution of social economic status (SES) and lifestyle factors were also examined to this association. A total of 12,805 participants (aged 18-70 years) from the multi-ethnic Healthy Life in an Urban Setting (HELIUS) cohort. Short sleep duration was defined as <7 h/night. The association between short sleep and CVD risk factors, along with the contribution of SES and lifestyle factors, was assessed using prevalence ratios (PRs). Short sleep was significantly associated with obesity in four out of six ethnic groups, with the socio-demographic-adjusted PR of 1.45 (95% CI, 1.07-1.95) in the Dutch, 1.21 (1.01-1.44) in South Asian Surinamese, 1.25 (1.09-1.43) in African Surinamese and 1.16 (1.04-1.29) in Turks. Short sleep was significantly associated with diabetes in African Surinamese (1.45, 1.14-1.84), Turks (1.59, 1.26-2.02) and Moroccans (1.29, 1.02-1.63). By contrast, the associations between other cardiovascular risk factors and short sleep were not significant in most ethnic groups, with the exception of the association with hypertension in the Dutch and Turks, and dyslipidaemia in South Asian Surinamese (reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride) and Moroccans (raised total cholesterol). SES and lifestyle factors contributed little to the observed associations. The findings indicate that short sleep is associated with obesity and diabetes in most ethnic groups. The associations for other risk factors vary between ethnic groups. Further studies are warranted to establish the potential factors that might lead to the observed differences across populations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1482-1488
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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