Saxena Lab

Sleep Duration and Myocardial Infarction

Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Journal: Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Background: Observational studies suggest associations between extremes of sleep duration and myocardial infarction (MI), but the causal contribution of sleep to MI and its potential to mitigate genetic predisposition to coronary disease is unclear.

Objectives: This study sought to investigate associations between sleep duration and incident MI, accounting for joint effects with other sleep traits and genetic risk of coronary artery disease, and to assess causality using Mendelian randomization (MR).

Methods: In 461,347 UK Biobank (UKB) participants free of relevant cardiovascular disease, the authors estimated multivariable adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for MI (5,128 incident cases) across habitual self-reported short (<6 h) and long (>9 h) sleep duration, and examined joint effects with sleep disturbance traits and a coronary artery disease genetic risk score. The authors conducted 2-sample MR for short (24 single nucleotide polymorphisms) and continuous (71 single nucleotide polymorphisms) sleep duration with MI (n = 43,676 cases/128,199 controls), and replicated results in UKB (n = 12,111/325,421).

Results: Compared with sleeping 6 to 9 h/night, short sleepers had a 20% higher multivariable-adjusted risk of incident MI (HR: 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07 to 1.33), and long sleepers had a 34% higher risk (HR: 1.34; 95% CI: 1.13 to 1.58); associations were independent of other sleep traits. Healthy sleep duration mitigated MI risk even among individuals with high genetic liability (HR: 0.82; 95% CI: 0.68 to 0.998). MR was consistent with a causal effect of short sleep duration on MI in CARDIoGRAMplusC4D (Coronary ARtery DIsease Genome wide Replication and Meta-analysis plus Coronary Artery Disease Genetics Consortium) (HR: 1.19; 95% CI: 1.09 to 1.29) and UKB (HR: 1.21; 95% CI: 1.08 to 1.37).

Conclusions: Prospective observational and MR analyses support short sleep duration as a potentially causal risk factor for MI. Investigation of sleep extension to prevent MI may be warranted.

Keywords: Mendelian randomization; UK Biobank; coronary artery disease; genetic risk score; myocardial infarction; sleep duration.

Links to Cardiometabolic Disease Research Area