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Poor Sleep and Inflammatory Biomarkers Linked

Sleep; ePub 2018 Mar 30; Nowakowski, et al

Lower sleep efficiency and more minutes awake after sleep onset were independently associated with higher circulating levels of von Willebrand factor (VWF) antigen in women during midlife, a recent study found. Lower sleep efficiency was also associated with higher circulating levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6). Therefore, these findings suggest that sleep disturbances are associated with greater circulating inflammation in midlife women. 295 peri- and postmenopausal women aged 40–60 years completed 3 days of wrist actigraphy, physiologic hot flash monitoring, questionnaires (eg, Berlin sleep apnea risk questionnaire), and a blood draw for the assessment of inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6, and VWF antigen. Researchers found:

  • In separate models controlling for age, race/ethnicity, and education, lower sleep efficiency was associated with higher IL-6 [b(SE) = .02 (.10)] and VWF [b(SE) = .02 (.08)].
  • More minutes awake after sleep onset was associated with higher VWF [b(SE) = .12 (.06)].
  • Findings persisted in multivariable models.


Nowakowski S, Matthews KA, von Känel R, Hall MH, Thurston RC. Sleep characteristics and inflammatory biomarkers among midlife women. [Published online ahead of print March 30, 2018]. Sleep. doi:10.1093/sleep/zsy049.

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