STUDY OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to evaluate the cross-sectional relationship between sleep duration and hypertension in a large, nationally-representative dataset that spans 10 years. This analysis may provide detailed information with high resolution about how sleep duration is related to hypertension and how this differs by demographic group.
METHODS: Data were aggregated from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (n = 433,386) and the combined 2007-2016 National Health Interview Surveys (n = 295,331). These data were collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from nationally-representative samples. Surveys were combined, and survey-specific weights were used in all analyses. Sleep duration was assessed with the item, "On average, how many hours of sleep do you get in a 24-hour period?" in both surveys. Hypertension was assessed as self-reported history. Covariates were assessed identically in both datasets and included, age (in 5-year groupings), sex, race/ethnicity, and employment status.
RESULTS: In adjusted analyses, compared to 7 hours, increased risk of hypertension was seen among those sleeping ≤ 4 hours (odds ratio [OR] = 1.86, < .0005), 5 hours (OR = 1.56, < .0005), 6 hours (OR = 1.27, < .0005), 9 hours (OR = 1.19, < .0005), and ≥ 10 hours (OR = 1.41, < .0005). When stratified by age, sex, and race/ethnicity groups, short sleep was associated with increased risk for all age groups < 70 years, and long sleep (≥ 10 hours only) was associated with risk for all except < 24 years and > 74 years. Findings for short sleep were relatively consistent across all race/ethnicities, although findings for long sleep were less pronounced among Black/African-American and Other/Multiracial groups. A significant sleep by 3-way sleep × age × sex interaction ( < .0005) suggests that the relationship depends on both age and sex. For both men and women, the OR of having hypertension associated with short sleep decreases with increasing age, but there is a higher association between short sleep and hypertension for women, throughout the adult lifespan.
CONCLUSIONS: Both short and long sleep duration are associated with increased hypertension risk across most age groups. The influence of covariates is stronger upon long sleep relationships. Relationships with short sleep were stronger among younger adults and women.