Associations Between Sleep Disorders, Sleep Duration, Quality of Sleep, and Hypertension: Results From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005 to 2008


Pooja Bansil, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway NE, MS-K47, Atlanta, GA 30341


J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2011;13:739–743. ©2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Sleep is a contributing factor to optimal health and vitality. However, to date, no national study has evaluated the simultaneous relationship between sleep disorders, quality, and duration with hypertension. Using data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) (2005 to 2008), hypertension was defined by current use of antihypertensive medication or systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg. Self-reported sleep disorders and duration were categorized from a single household interview question, and sleep quality was determined from several questions on sleeping habits. The prevalence of hypertension was 30.2% and 7.5%, and 33.0% and 52.1% reported having sleep disorders, short sleep, and poor sleep, respectively. After adjustment for demographic characteristics and comorbidities, having sleep disorders only was not significantly associated with hypertension (odds ratio [OR], 1.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.73−3.77). However, this association was modified by sleep duration: significant associations were observed among adults with concurrent sleep disorders and short sleep (OR, 2.30; 95% CI, 1.49−3.56) and with sleep disorders, short sleep, and poor sleep (OR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.13−2.98). These findings indicate an association between a combination of sleep problems and hypertension, but prospective studies are needed to understand the complex interplay between them.