Biology of Sex Differences
Impaired sleep quality is associated with concurrent elevations in inflammatory markers: are post-menopausal women at greater risk?
Biology of Sex Differences201910:34
© The Author(s). 2019
- Published: 8 July 2019
Chronic inflammation and impaired sleep increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. Menopausal women may be particularly at risk as a result of impaired sleep. The objective of the current investigation was to assess the relationship between poor sleep and C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and myeloperoxidase (MPO) in healthy non- and postmenopausal women and men.
A fasting blood draw was obtained from 122 healthy men and women (31 were postmenopausal). Higher scores on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) were used to define poor sleep. Given the sample size and healthy nature of the sample, hierarchical linear regression analyses were performed on a composite inflammatory score involving CRP, IL-6, and TNF-α. Sex/menopausal group and PSQI were entered as predictors, and the interaction of the group by PSQI was entered stepwise. Analyses on MPO were performed separately.
Sleep quality was associated with higher inflammatory activity (β = 0.272, P = 0.003), which remained significant (P = 0.046) after controlling for age, waist circumference, exercise times per week, and depressive symptoms. While in the same direction, sleep quality was not significantly associated with MPO. Dichotomizing sleep quality led to similar results.
Impaired sleep quality is independently associated with greater inflammation in healthy adult men and women. Despite an overall less favorable metabolic and inflammatory profile in postmenopausal women, impaired sleep did not emerge as differentially related to inflammatory activity in this group.
- C-reactive protein