A Systematic Review of Sleep, Hypertension, and Cardiovascular Risk in Children and Adolescents

Academic Article


  • Purpose of Review: Many of the risk factors for heart disease have recently been shown to develop during childhood such as left ventricular hypertrophy and fibrous plaque lesions. As risk for cardiovascular disease in children and adolescents has risen, sleep duration has decreased, and inadequate sleep in children and adolescents has been found to be associated with cardiovascular disease risk. The aims of this manuscript are to provide an updated systematic review of the literature assessing sleep, hypertension, and cardiovascular risk and evaluate the strength of the evidence based on the available research. Recent Findings: A systematic review was conducted using six databases from January 1, 2015 through March 9, 2018. We sought studies which looked at the relationship between sleep duration, sleep timing, or sleep quality and outcome variables of hypertension, inflammation, obesity, glucose or insulin, and lipids in children and adolescents. We found 24 studies which met our criteria. Nine studies included hypertension as an outcome variable; fifteen included obesity; thirteen included glucose or insulin; eight included lipids; and three included measures of inflammation. Summary: The existing literature on sleep and cardiovascular disease in children and adolescents is limited and relatively weak. Only one RCT was identified, and the overwhelming majority of studies had a high risk of bias. The strongest evidence of an association with sleep is with obesity, hypertension, and insulin sensitivity. Further research using more standardized methods and objective measures is needed to determine if a causal relationship truly exists between sleep and cardiovascular risk.
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    Author List

  • Fobian AD; Elliott L; Louie T
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 5