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Sleep Med. 2013 Mar;14(3):282-7. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2012.11.016. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Do reports of sleep disturbance relate to coronary and aortic calcification in healthy middle-aged women?: Study of women's health across the nation.

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University of Pittsburgh, Department of Psychiatry, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



Poor sleep may be associated with the cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality. It is less clear if poor sleep is associated with subclinical CVD. We evaluated cross-sectional associations between self-reported sleep disturbance and duration and calcification in the coronary arteries (CAC) and aorta (AC) in healthy mid-life women.


512 black and white women enrolled in the SWAN Heart Study, underwent a computed tomography protocol for measurement of CAC and AC and completed questionnaires about their sleep. Linear and partial proportional logit regression analyses adjusted for site, race, age, body mass index, and the Framingham risk score (model 1). Additional covariates of education, perceived health, hypnotic medication and alcohol use were evaluated (model 2), plus depressive symptoms (model 3).


AC was related to higher levels of trouble falling asleep, waking earlier than planned, overall poor sleep quality, and cough/snoring and shorter sleep duration in linear regression analyses (model 1). Adjustments for additional covariates showed that poor sleep quality and waking earlier than planned remained associated with higher AC (models 2 and 3). CAC was unrelated to sleep characteristics.


Poor sleep quality is related to AC in middle-aged women. Sleep quality should routinely be assessed in mid-life women.

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