What is the recent evidence that links sleep deprivation with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease?
Recently, many epidemiology studies were conducted to find out the effect of sleep deprivation on the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Sleep deprivation is a concern for the working population especially the shift-workers. If sleep deprivation leads to cardiovascular diseases, they are at higher risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, myocardial infarction and stroke. I chose five recent studies that provide an insight of the relationship between sleep deprivation and cardiovascular diseases.
Sleep restriction increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by augmenting proinflammatory responses through IL-17 and CRP
A cohort study was conducted by van Leeuwen et al to investigate the effect of sleep deprivation on the cardiovascular system through immunological response (van Leeuwen et al., 2009). Nineteen healthy young men with regular sleeping behaviour had physical screening. The experimental group (n=13) had sleep duration of 4 hours for 5 nights, followed by recovery sleep (8 hours) for 2 nights. Proliferation of IL-17, a proinflammatory cytokine increased significantly after sleep restriction and its concentration was not reduced to baseline level after 2 nights of recovery sleep. In addition, significant increase of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker was also measured and its concentration became higher after recovery sleep. Figure 1 showed the hypothesis that is proposed by the authors to establish the relationship between sleep restriction and cardiovascular disease through the activation of proinflammatory responses. This study suggested that the sleep restriction increases the expression of IL-17 which in turns induce the synthesis of CRP. Consequently, the CRP increases the formation of atherosclerosis plaque in the arteries and leads to cardiovascular disease.
Figure 1. Schematic flow chart of mechanism of sleep restriction leads to cardiovascular diseases.
This study was able to provide an insight of the risk of developing cardiovascular through the activation of immune system in a short period of sleep deprivation. Further research with longer term of sleep deprivation is required to prove the credibility of the hypothesis. I chose this study because the authors proposed their hypothesis based on a number of research papers to support their findings in the study. In addition, the simulation of sleep behaviour of the working population helps to explore the possible negative impact of sleep deprivation in these population.
Total sleep deprivation alters cardiovascular reactivity to acute stressors in humans
Yang, H., et al conducted a cohort study to determine the effect of 24 hours total sleep deprivation (TSD) on the cardiovascular reactivity (Yang, Durocher, Larson, Dellavalla, & Carter, 2012). 14 men and 14 women were selected and distributed...