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Sleep Duration/Stroke Link Differs by Race and Sex

Neurology; ePub 2018 Oct 3; Petrov, Howard, et al

The association of sleep duration with incident stroke differs by race and sex, with short sleep duration among black men associated with decreased risk, whereas long sleep duration among white men associated with increased risk for stroke, according to a recent study. From 2008 to 2010, 16,733 black and white adults, aged ≥45 years, without a history of stroke or sleep-disordered breathing from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, reported their habitual sleep duration (<6, 6.0–6.9, 7.0–8.9 [reference], ≥9 hours). Incident strokes were identified through biannual participant contact followed by physician adjudication of medical records. Researchers found:

  • The sample comprised 10.4% (n=1,747) short sleepers (<6 hours) and 6.8% (n=1,134) long sleepers (≥9 hours).
  • Over an average 6.1-years follow-up, 460 strokes occurred.
  • There were significant interactions between sleep duration and race and sleep duration and race-sex groups in association with incident stroke.
  • Short sleep duration was significantly associated with decreased risk for stroke among black participants, particularly black men, whereas long sleep duration was significantly associated with increased risk for stroke among white men.


Petrov ME, Howard G, Grandner MA, Kelindorfer D, Molano JR, Howard VJ. Sleep duration and risk of incident stroke by age, sex, and race. The REGARDS study. [Published online ahead of print October 3, 2018]. Neurology. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000006424.