Examining sleep patterns and cardiovascular disease risk profiles in community-dwelling middle age and older females

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Rose, Alexandra
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Poor sleep patterning is associated with increased risk for future adverse cardiovascular events. An exaggerated blood pressure response (EBPR) to a moderate bout of physical activity may better and earlier detect autonomic dysfunction and CVD risk compared with resting blood pressure (BP). To date, determining if poor sleep patterning is associated with an EBPR to 3-minutes of moderate physical activity has not yet been assessed. The purpose of my thesis is to determine if differing sleep patterns are associated with an EBPR to 3-minutes of moderate physical activity in 206 women aged 55 years or older. Objective sleep data was collected through accelerometry to assess both sleep duration (total sleep time; TST; sleep durationTST) and sleep quality (sleep efficiency; SE; Sleep QualitySE). Self-reported sleep quality data was also collected using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI; sleep qualityPSQI). The BP response was collected after 3-minutes of moderate physical activity performed on a treadmill and categorized into a typical BP response or an absolute or relative EBPR (EBPRAbsolute; EBPRrelative). Differing sleep patterning prevalence was classified as: 1) 40.8% of the cohort had short sleep durationTST, 57.3% had normal sleep durationTST and 1.9% had long sleep durationTST; 2) 4.9% had poor sleep qualitySE, and 95.1% had adequate sleep qualitySE; and, 3) 57.3% had poor sleep qualityPSQI and 42.7 had adequate sleep qualityPSQI. No significant associations were determined between the objectively measured sleep durationTST or sleep qualitySE and EBPR categories. A significant association between sleep qualityPSQI and an EBPRrelative was detected, where participants with better sleep qualityPSQI score had a 63% reduction of having an EBPRrelative. The findings of no association between sleep durationTST or sleep qualitySE variables may be due to my study’s limitation of a small sample size and the large amount of variance. These associations should be re-assessed while using a larger sample size. If this relationship is confirmed in the future, health care professionals could implement sleep interventions to reduce CVD risk.
Sleep patterning, Cardiovascular disease risk