Sleep duration is now considered an important measure of heart health and has been added to an American scoring system which measures the components for optimal cardiovascular health.

The American Heart Association has recently published ‘Life’s Essential 8™’ – newly updated metrics which have been developed to identify the factors which impact heart health.

Among the new additions is sleep duration, with American Heart Association President Dr Donald Lloyd-Jones saying: “The new metric of sleep duration reflects the latest research findings: sleep impacts overall health, and people who have healthier sleep patterns manage health factors such as weight, blood pressure or risk for type 2 diabetes more effectively.

“In addition, advances in ways to measure sleep, such as with wearable devices, now offer people the ability to reliably and routinely monitor their sleep habits at home.”

Other updates include:

  • New guidance on assessing diet;
  • Taking into account exposure to second-hand smoke and vaping;
  • Using non-HDL cholesterol as a measure instead of total cholesterol;
  • Including haemoglobin A1c in blood sugar measures, as this is a significant measure of type 2 diabetes risk.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America and around the world. Life’s Essential 8™ is designed to identify the health behaviours and factors that can lead to optimal heart and brain health.

The latest version of the measuring system encompasses more than 2,400 scientific papers on the topic and 12 years of research. Previous studies have shown that more than 80% of cardiovascular events could be prevented with lifestyle changes and the management of risk factor for cardiovascular problems.

Dr Lloyd-Jones said: “The idea of optimal cardiovascular health is important because it gives people positive goals to work toward at any stage of life.

“Given the evolving research, it was important to address some limitations to the original metrics, particularly in ways they’ve been applied to people from diverse racial and ethnic populations.

“Life’s Essential 8™ is a major step forward in our ability to identify when cardiovascular health can be preserved and when it is sub-optimal. It should energise efforts to improve cardiovascular health for all people and at every life stage.”

The study is published in the journal Circulation.

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.

You May Also Like

Conversation about doctors’ appointments occurring virtually rumbles on

More than half of GP appointments are still being delivered remotely in…

Twice daily dairy intakes could reduce type 2 diabetes risk

Eating cheese, yoghurt or eggs twice a day could help lower the…

Type 2 diabetes found to be a ‘significant risk factor’ among stroke victims

More evidence has been published which supports that diabetes is a “significant…