A group of sleep scientists has revealed that disrupted night sleep may increase the risk of fat buildup and inflammation in the arterial walls, a condition called atherosclerosis, which is the primary risk factor for heart attacks and stroke, the leading causes of death globally.
The findings add poor sleep quality as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Established risk factors for cardiovascular disease include high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, smoking, and physical inactivity.
To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers analyzed more than 1,600 middle-aged and older adults using a national dataset. Their work also showed that disrupted sleep patterns were associated with a higher levels of inflammation in the body, which contributes to atherosclerosis.