The association of co-morbid insomnia and sleep apnea with prevalent cardiovascular disease and incident cardiovascular events

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Abstract

Insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea commonly co-occur (co-morbid insomnia and sleep apnea), and their co-occurrence has been associated with worse cardiometabolic and mental health. However, it remains unknown if people with co-morbid insomnia and sleep apnea are at a heightened risk of incident cardiovascular events. This study used longitudinal data from the Sleep Heart Health Study (N = 5803) to investigate potential associations between co-morbid insomnia and sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease prevalence at baseline and cardiovascular event incidence over ~11 years follow-up. Insomnia was defined as self-reported difficulties initiating and/or maintaining sleep AND daytime impairment. Obstructive sleep apnea was defined as an apnea–hypopnea index ≥ 15 events per hr sleep. Co-morbid insomnia and sleep apnea was defined if both conditions were present. Data from 4160 participants were used for this analysis. The prevalence of no insomnia/obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia only, obstructive sleep apnea only and co-morbid insomnia and sleep apnea was 53.2%, 3.1%, 39.9% and 1.9%, respectively. Co-morbid insomnia and sleep apnea was associated with a 75% (odd ratios [95% confidence interval]; 1.75 [1.14, 2.67]) increase in likelihood of having cardiovascular disease at baseline after adjusting for pre-specified confounders. In the unadjusted model, co-morbid insomnia and sleep apnea was associated with a twofold increase (hazard ratio, 95% confidence interval: 2.00 [1.33, 2.99]) in risk of cardiovascular event incidence. However, after adjusting for pre-specified covariates, co-morbid insomnia and sleep apnea was not significantly associated with incident cardiovascular events (hazard ratio 1.38 [0.92, 2.07]). Comparable findings were obtained when an alternative definition of insomnia (difficulties initiating and/or maintaining sleep without daytime impairment) was used.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13563
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Early online date15 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • cardiovascular disease
  • COMISA
  • difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep
  • sleep heart health study
  • sleep-disordered breathing

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