2016 Scientific Statement On Sleep And Cardiovascular Health From The AHA

Overall, I didn’t find this resource particularly helpful for me as a primary care physician. Basically, it seems that short sleep duration (SSD) and sleep disordered breathing (SDB) are associated with increased energy intake, weight gain, and hypertension. Other adverse cardiometabolic effects are also likely.

I think that the blog post Screening For Obstructive Sleep Apnea With The STOP-Bang Questionnaire posted on November 8, 2016 by Tom Wade MD is much more useful for primary physicians. [Yes, that’s me but I put this link in so I’ll remember it]

The following are excerpts from Reference (1) in Resources below:

Overall, there is good agreement that sleep restriction increases energy intake, and evidence shows that this is not accompanied by an adequate compensation via increased energy expenditure.


The results of 4 randomized, controlled trials have shown that weight loss achieved through behavioral or surgical interventions may be effective in the man
agement or resolution of SDB (measured by change in AHI).

Although observational studies have found an association between the treatment of sleep disorders and an improvement in cardiometabolic risk factors, primarily hypertension,161–164 the randomized data are still rather limited.


Our review of the epidemiological data on the impact of sleep duration and disorders on cardiovascular health suggests the following:

1. Both short- and long-duration sleep and sleep disorders such as SDB and insomnia are associated with adverse cardiometabolic risk profiles and outcomes.

2. Sleep restriction has a negative impact on energy balance, but it is less clear whether treating sleep disorders has a positive impact on obesity risk.

3. Treating those with sleep disorders may provide clinical benefits, particularly for blood pressure.


The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recently released a statement in favor of ≥7 hours of sleep per night for adults “to promote optimal health.”191 Similarly, Healthy People 2020 has released a series of sleep health goals, including to “increase the proportion of adults who get sufficient sleep.” To increase the clinical awareness of and action on sleep-related issues and disorders, the following steps should be considered:

1. The American Heart Association should directly address sleep behavior in a public health campaign to promote ideal cardiac health (akin to its Simple 7 campaign addressing blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, physical activity, diet, weight, and smoking cessation).

2. A public health campaign addressing sleep behavior should include explicit guidelines for adequate sleep and suggestions for how to include screening for sleep duration and sleep disorders in routine clinical care and public health settings.

3. Existing simple assessment tools to screen for sleep apnea risk should be better integrated into routine clinical care and public health settings.


(1) Sleep Duration and Quality: Impact on Lifestyle Behaviors and Cardiometabolic Health: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association [PubMed Abstract] [Full Text HTML]. Circulation. 2016 Nov 1;134(18):e367-e386. Epub 2016 Sep 19.

(2) Association between sleep deficiency and cardiometabolic disease: implications for health disparities. [PubMed Abstract]. Sleep Med. 2016 Feb;18:19-35. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2015.02.535. Epub 2015 Mar 23.

(3) American Academy of Sleep Medicine – Setting Standards & Promoting Excellence in Sleep Medicine

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