Sleep duration longer than 6 hours may be positively associated with risk of stroke, according to study results presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2022, held from November 5th through 7th, in Chicago, Illinois.

Researchers conducted a retrospective cross-sectional analysis (N=8416; age range, 21-79 years; women, 51.5%) based on data from the 2017-2020 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to assess whether there was an association between sleep duration and risk of stroke. Participants self-reported sleep duration and history of stroke. Researchers stratified sleep duration into normal sleep duration (≥6 hours) and short sleep duration (<6 hours), and assessed risk of stroke with multivariate logistic regression.

At baseline, the average sleep duration was 7.529±1.651 hours. Participants who reported a history of stroke (n=377) recorded a mean sleep duration of 7.545±2.132 hours. Participants who did not report a history of stroke recorded a mean sleep duration was 7.528±1.626 hours (difference, 0.017 hours; 95% CI, -0.156 to 0.189; P <.001).

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Overall, 913 (10.8%) participants self-reported short sleep duration and 7426 (88.2%) participants self-reported a normal sleep duration; 77 participants were unaccounted for. The researchers found that participants with short sleep duration had significantly lower odds of stroke (adjusted odds ratio, 0.574; 95% CI, 0.424-0.777; P <.001) vs participants with normal sleep duration after adjusting for baseline risk factors, including sex, age, body mass index (<25 kg/m2 vs ≥25 kg/m2), ethnicity, and history of hypertension and diabetes.

“Contrary to previous reports, this study shows that sleep duration is positively associated with risk of stroke,” the researchers concluded. “Further long-term studies that … [use] non-self-reported measurements are required to elucidate effect of sleep quality and optimal sleep duration on the adverse CV [cardiovascular] outcomes.”