The findings reinforce the knowledge that sleep is a risk factor in cardiovascular disease, points out Dr. Francoise Marvel, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, who was not involved in the study. Just like bedtime, sleep duration is also important, previous research indicates.
According to the American Heart Association, people who sleep less than six hours are at risk for hypertension, which is a major cardiovascular risk factor.
Nevertheless, "there is no evidence to suggest at this point that improving sleep will effectively reduce cardiovascular events," says Marvel, who is co-director of the Johns Hopkins Digital Health Lab.
"Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be the most significant cause of mortality worldwide, with an estimated 18.6 million deaths each year," the Huma researchers write in their paper.
"Evidence suggests circadian rhythm disruption could be an understudied risk factor for CVD, and that prolonged misalignment of circadian rhythms is associated with elevated blood pressure, reduced sleep quality, increased risk for cardiovascular disorders, and may also stimulate atherosclerosis, providing a possible biological mechanism for increased cardiovascular risk," they show in the study.