Sleep Patterns as a Risk Factor for Disease in the Hispanic Community Health Study

Project: Research project


With technological advances such as electricity and the internet, humans are increasingly living in a 24-hour society that has led to substantial changes in sleeping patterns with a 2 hour reduction in average sleep duration among US adults over the past 80 years. Preliminary studies suggest that altered sleep including reductions in amount, quality, and regularity are associated with up to a 3-fold increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Thus, effects on sleep may reflect one of the mechanisms by which a 21st century lifestyle predisposes to heart disease. However, the existing literature that has addressed the role of sleep largely has been limited by the lack of objective measurements of sleep and has not included a representative sample of ethnic minorities, who are at greatest risk for poor sleep. In the proposed ancillary study to the Hispanic Community Health Study (HCHS), a large US community based cohort of four Hispanic-American groups, we aim to fill this gap by collecting objective measurements of sleep patterns in 2000 study participants who are already undergoing rigorous assessment of a broad range of CVD risk factors and outcomes. Capitalizing on the HCHS resource and expanding assessments to include objective sleep pattern measurements, will provide unique and efficient opportunities to: (1) assess the prevalence of altered sleep patterns among Hispanic-Americans subgroups defined by age, gender, and country of origin, (2) define the importance of socioeconomic status, social network strength, factors in the home and work environment, mood, and level of acculturation into American society in predicting abnormal sleep patterns, and (3) assess the association between poor sleep and relevant cardiovascular health outcomes including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease in Hispanic-Americans. The proposed new data and analyses will help clarify the role of sleep disorders in the development of CVD while also establishing a framework for addressing sleep disorders as a novel target for CVD prevention in high risk populations, including under-served ethnic minorities.
Effective start/end date11/1/104/30/14


  • Brigham and Womens Hospital


Hispanic Americans
Cardiovascular Diseases
Heart Diseases
Health Resources
Social Class
Social Support
Life Style