Healthy sleep pattern tied to lower risk of atrial fibrillation and bradyarrhythmia: Study
USA: A recent study has suggested that a healthy sleep pattern may lower the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) and bradyarrhythmia. The lower risk is said to be independent of traditional risk factors, and the association with AF is modified by genetic susceptibility. However, the study found that healthy sleep patterns did not seem to affect the risk for ventricular arrhythmias.
The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Emerging evidence has suggested an association between sleep behaviors and cardiac arrhythmias risk. The various sleep behaviors are typically correlated, however, most of the previous studies did not consider the overall sleep patterns and have focused only on the individual sleep behavior. To fill this knowledge gap, Xiang Li, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, and colleagues prospectively investigated the associations between a healthy sleep pattern with the risks of cardiac arrhythmias.
The study included a total of 403,187 participants from UK Biobank. A healthy sleep pattern was defined by chronotype, sleep duration, insomnia, snoring, and daytime sleepiness. Weighted genetic risk score for atrial fibrillation was calculated.
Based on the study, the researchers found the following:
- The healthy sleep pattern was significantly associated with lower risks of atrial fibrillation/flutter (AF) (HR comparing extreme categories: 0.71) and bradyarrhythmia (HR: 0.65), but not ventricular arrhythmias, after adjustment for demographic, lifestyle, and genetic risk factors.
- Compared with individuals with a healthy sleep score of 0-1 (poor sleep group), those with a healthy sleep score of 5 had a 29% and 35% lower risk of developing AF and bradyarrhythmia, respectively.
- The genetic predisposition to AF significantly modified the association of the healthy sleep pattern with the risk of AF.
- The inverse association of the healthy sleep pattern with the risk of AF was stronger among those with a lower genetic risk of AF.
The researchers concluded, "Our results indicate that a healthy sleep pattern is associated with lower risks of AF and bradyarrhythmia, independent of traditional risk factors, and the association with AF is modified by genetic susceptibility."
"The results of the study are intriguing and add to a growing body of data that suggest that the quality and quantity of sleep may affect overall AF and BA, the imprecise definition and documentation of "arrhythmias," and the absence of a specific hypothesis about why some arrhythmias were more associated with disturbed sleep patterns," Alan Kadish and Jason Jacobson from USA wrote in an accompanying editorial. "These results must be taken as preliminary and hypothesis-generating, rather than findings that are ready to affect clinical practice."
The study titled, "Healthy Sleep Patterns and Risk of Incident Arrhythmias," is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.