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Heart Sleep

January 5, 2009

Getting enough sleep could protect your heart.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Why sleep is good for you heart….I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

The build-up of calcified plaques in the coronary arteries strongly predicts a person’s likelihood of later developing coronary heart disease. University of Chicago epidemiologist Diane Lauderdale and her colleagues measured coronary artery calcification in nearly 500 middle-aged people over 5 years. They also looked at how much sleep they were getting. She says 27% of the people who got less than five hours of sleep per night developed coronary artery calcification during that time, only 6% of those who slept 7 hours or more developed the condition.

DIANE LAUDERDALE (University of Chicago):
We found that longer sleep durations were associated with lower incidence of coronary artery calcification.

HIRSHON:
Her team doesn’t yet know why longer sleepers fare better, but she speculates that they may have lower overall blood pressure or less inflammation. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.