Sleep duration versus sleep insufficiency as predictors of cardiometabolic health outcomes

Nicole G. Altman, Bilgay Izci-Balserak, Elizabeth Schopfer, Nicholas Jackson, Pinyo Rattanaumpawan, Philip R. Gehrman, Nirav P. Patel, Michael A. Grandner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of the present study was to investigate the relationship between sleep insufficiency and sleep duration, particularly regarding negative cardiometabolic health outcomes already considered to be affected by reduced sleep time. Methods: A total of N=30,934 participants from the 2009 Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) answered questions about their sleep duration as well as subjective feelings of sleep insufficiency. Outcomes included body mass index (BMI), obesity (BMI30kgm-2) and history of hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolaemia, heart attack and stroke. Linear and logistic regression models examined whether cardiometabolic outcomes were associated with (1) sleep duration alone, (2) sleep insufficiency alone and (3) the combined effect of sleep duration and sleep insufficiency. Results: Results indicated that, when examined alone, sleep duration <5. h (versus 7. h) was related to BMI (B=2.716, p<0.01), obesity (B=2.080, p<0.000001), diabetes (B=3.162, p<0.000001), hypertension (B=2.703, p<0.000001), hypercholesterolaemia (B=1.922, p<0.00001), heart attack (B=4.704, p<0.000001) and stroke (B=4.558, p<0.000001), and sleep insufficiency (days per week, continuous) was related to BMI (B=0.181, p<0.01), obesity (B=1.061, p<0.000001) and hypercholesterolaemia (B=1.025, p<0.01). All of these relationships remained significant after adjustment for covariates, except for diabetes and sleep duration. Also, after adjustment, a significant relationship between insufficient sleep and hypertension emerged (B=1.039, p<0.001). When evaluated together, after adjustment for covariates, significant relationships remained between sleep duration <5. h (versus 7. h) and BMI (B=1.266, p<0.05), obesity (B=1.389, p<0.05), hypertension (B=1.555, p<0.01), heart attack (B=2.513, p<0.01) and stroke (B=1.807, p<0.05). It should be noted that relationships between sleep duration >9. h (versus 7. h) were seen for heart attack (B=1.863, p<0.001) and stroke (B=1.816, p<0.01). In these models, sleep insufficiency was associated with hypercholesterolaemia (B=1.031, p<0.01) and hypertension (B=1.027, p<0.05). Conclusions: These analyses show that both sleep duration and insufficiency are related to cardiometabolic health outcomes, and that when evaluated together, both variables demonstrate unique effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1261-1270
Number of pages10
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Obesity
  • Sleep duration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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