-- Alan Mozes
TUESDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Men who don't sleep enough
may be increasing their risk for cardiovascular disease, new
The notion is based on the finding that shorter duration of
sleep was associated with a thickening of the men's neck's carotid
artery wall. Such "intima-media thickness" (IMT) is considered to
be a significant marker for heart disease.
What's more, the link between sleep and IMT seems to be
gender-based, applying solely to men.
The study team, led by Megan R. Sands of Brown University in
Providence, R.I., is slated to present its findings Tuesday at the
American Heart Association's annual meeting in Chicago.
Sands and her colleagues developed the new risk association
based on an ultrasound analysis involving more than 600 middle-aged
black and white patients drawn from across the country.
Participants were between the ages of 37 and 52. Almost 60 percent
Sleep monitoring revealed that men slept less on a daily basis
than women: 5.7 hours vs. 6.3 hours, respectively.
On average, the male patients also had thicker carotid artery
walls: 0.74 mm for men vs. 0.68 mm for women.
Putting the data together, the authors determined that an extra
hour of sleep translated into .021 mm less IMT, or neck artery wall
thickening, among men. Women, by contrast, only experienced .002 mm
less IMT as a result of an extra hour of sleep.
This study did not prove a cause-and-effect. And it was
presented at a medical meeting. The data and conclusions should be
viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed
For more risk factors on high blood pressure and heart disease,
American Heart Association.
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