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Prev Med. 2013 Dec;57(6):872-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.09.022. Epub 2013 Oct 5.

Short sleep duration as a risk factor for the development of the metabolic syndrome in adults.

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Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada. Electronic address:



The objective of this study was to investigate the association between self-reported sleep duration and the incidence of features of the metabolic syndrome in adults.


A longitudinal analysis from the Quebec Family Study (Canada) was conducted on 293 participants, aged 18 to 65 years, followed for a mean of 6 years (until 2001). Participants were categorized as short (≤6 h), adequate (7-8 h) or long (≥9 h) sleepers. The metabolic syndrome was defined according to the American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's criteria. The hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype was defined as high waist circumference (≥90 cm in men and ≥85 cm in women) combined with high fasting triglyceride level (≥2.0 mmol/L in men and ≥1.5 mmol/L in women).


The incidence rates of metabolic syndrome and hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype were 9.9% and 7.5%, respectively. Short sleepers were significantly more at risk of developing the metabolic syndrome (relative risk (RR): 1.74; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05-2.72) and the hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype (RR: 1.82; 95% CI: 1.16-2.79), compared to those sleeping 7 to 8h per night after adjusting for covariates. However, long sleep duration was not associated with an increased risk of developing the metabolic syndrome or the hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype (either unadjusted or adjusted models).


Short sleep duration is associated with an increased risk of developing features of the metabolic syndrome in adults.


Adults; Cardiometabolic risk; Longitudinal study; Metabolic syndrome; Sleep

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